It has taken a week to process, but on June 10, I earned my third degree black belt in Kenpo karate. It has been a two year endeavor, which included self-improvement, getting certified as a Baptiste-inspired yoga teacher, and training in Jiu Jitsu. I had to develop and present self-defenses based on my experiences with these external styles. Mine were close quarter attacks where someone has invaded my space against the wall or on the ground.
It went phenomenally, and I am very excited about this accomplishment. But it was so much more than that. My goal was to come onto the mat powerfully and elevate the energy of those around me. I did that and it has opened doors that I often didn’t believe were even there.
If I were a character in a book, I would say that one of my fatal flaws is not believing in myself. I have this underlying doubt about whether I can achieve what I set out to do. It happened with my yoga training. At one point I was so emotionally and physically drained, I was ready to pack it up. But with the support of my fellow trainees, I dug deep and pulled through.
My third degree training was challenging in that I had to be patient and think outside the box. I often became frustrated with myself, not because I didn’t know the techniques, but because I doubted myself. Who was I to show up courageously? The doubt tainted everything I did. Again I was supported by my instructors who believed in me, but I had to find it in myself to have the confidence to show up powerfully.
I was ready the day of the test. I walked onto my karate mat like I stood on my yoga mat. I was present and took it moment by moment, knowing I had so much to offer.
When it was time to do my kata and present my self-defenses, I knew I could do anything. It was like the layers were finally peeled away and there I was. I showed up enthusiastically, confidently, and I succeeded.
So yes, I will treasure the moment and am honored by the degree, but I passed my true test. I stood in my power and without a doubt, let my light shine.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me on this journey.