Jesse Concepcion’s Essay

Four years ago, I was a different person.  When I was a fifth grader, I used to have bad grades, I was shy, and I experienced verbal bullying from a few people. This caused me to have low self-esteem.

During that year, my teacher noticed that something was wrong with me. My mom and I talked to my teacher and she recommended me to undergo some kind of therapy.   I attended therapy for about a month.   At the end of that school year, I got B’s and C’s, mostly C’s. As the school year ended, I went back to my therapist and she recommended that I should go to this karate school, “Denny Strecker’s Karate.”  At first, I did not want to join because I thought that karate was just one to one sparring until one overpowers the other. However after my first few weeks I realized that I was wrong.

During back then, I was scared when I being was introduced to the class.  Everyone stared at me and I was not comfortable.  Couple weeks past, I started to be more interactive in class.  Attending this class helped me a lot, not only that I was able to stand in front of an audience, but I gained more self-esteem and was able to handle and blocked out verbal bullying.  For three months being part of this class, it has changed me a lot.

When I went back into school a 6th grader, I found myself being able to talk in front of a class and I was confident with myself.  I started to get better grades in all of my classes, received A’s and B’s mostly A’s, also I was in the honor roll at the end of school year.

Until now I am still in this karate class regularly and continuously developing myself. I have confidence to be in front of people, especially when there were belt presentations, performances outside of school, and when i lead a group of people through a “kata”.   Unlike before, every time I am in front of a crowd, I was shy but I was able to overcome this by the help of this karate class.

This journey would not have started if I have not walked through the door back at the old school.  Awful grades, shyness, and low self-esteem, is in my past.  To receive a black belt is an extraordinary experience; this is a belt of achievement that I am proud to tie around myself.  It shows all the hard work that I have put into these four years of efforts and challenges that I have overcome.  It also means living to the seven principals of black belt; Honesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Humility, Perseverance, Courage, and Indomitable Spirit.  By these principals, I would lead by example.

I would not be able to accomplish this goal without the help of my family, especially my mom. She always been there from the start and she would not cease in helping me.  I will also like to thank Shihan for teaching me all these important life skills, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Huffman. I would not be able to attend black belt preparation class if they have not picked me up from my house when I needed ride. Also thanks to my friends and other Black Belt Prep candidatess for their support in this journey. Without everyone’s help, I would not be here speaking to all of you, and as I heard many times, “Black belt is not the end. It’s only the beginning”.

My journey would continue to the next chapter of my life, but I could assure everyone of you that is here right now, that these are for a good cause and good purpose. Whatever I learned here would be my compass for the right direction of my journey.


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