In life every minute can be a challenge. We can waste each minute or take advantage of the gift of minutes we each have.

We have different abilities, different talents, sometimes talents lay dormant because we have not discovered them yet. In this world we live, it is easier to let the world take our moments in a pace paced chaos if we let it.

I am inspired and in awe at the events of yesterday/ and also last year around this time. Preston earned his 1st degree Black Belt and the ceremony was yesterday. Brandon was on the “demo” team, and also was a part of the ceremony. Brandon received his Black Belt last year.black belt

Watching the kids as they have gone from a new karate student to this level is amazing. It is such a commitment, incredibly hard work, however, the work is a desire, and not a “just do it because I said so”.

Each and every candidate forBlack Belt knows it is not given to you. There are goals to achieve, endurance to demonstrate, and hours upon hours of being focused on the tasks, the life-changing things you learn and commit to.

The students have actions of respect that they need to follow. Respect for the studio, respect for the people in their lives, respect for themselves and for the experience of those who are above them in experience. Yet also a compassion to help those not yet at the level they are at.

Yesterday was an incredible ceremony, the demo team doing performances that display their ability to go beyond their previous Black Belt Level. The candidates, no matter what level of Black Belt they were going for, their group became one. You funnel all of the students together, from 8 to probably 60 yrs old, and it displays a Karate family. Not in words on a paper, but in their total respect for the leaders, for each other.

I was so glad to be a spectator of the event, to see this commitment, and it was weird but as I observed people in the audience ( and the auditorium was packed!!), not anyone took their eyes off the stage. The entire experience was amazing.

I remember last year when Sensei said to his class- the day of the Ceremony is a fun day, enjoy the acknowledgment of your hard work, the next day, it is looking forward to your next steps. Watching the participants at the gathering after, it was amazing how confident the trainers are, how welcoming everyone is with one another, how respectful they were. Even on the “fun” day, they never lost the skills of life they have learned and will continue to learn.