December Black Belt Family of the month is the Allens

Congratulation Mr Ron, Ms Susanna, and Analyse!You guys are awesome Martial artists. Congratulations on your recent test. Mr Ron and Ms Susanna tested for their black belts last month. Ms Susanna won best adult best black belt tester. Analyse just recieved her Jr Black belt and will be testing for her black belt  soon. I know she will do awesome. You guys are awesome rolemodels to our other students. This family is very supportive of each other and our studio. They take their traing very seriously and it shows. Keep up the great work!IMG 0055 169x300 December Black Belt Family of the month is the Allens IMG 0056 169x300 December Black Belt Family of the month is the Allens Here is an awesome post from Ms Susanna. I have also attached Mr Rons essay belowMater Lappin commented “This is a great post from Susanna Allen, one of our newest black belts and our “best in test”……I am going to join in on the thankful bandwagon for today. I don’t usually do this in November because every day I wake up thankful for the new day and all that it brings. So I am always thankful for everything God has given me. But this last two weeks my feelings of thankfulness have been overwhelming! Three and a half years ago we walked into Middleburg Martial Arts when I was looking for a summer camp for Analyse. Little did I realize on that evening what God had planned for us. I am so thankful for everyone at MMA, Region 21 and the Association! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that I could earn a black belt in a Martial art, but I did because of all who touched my life in amazing ways with so much love and encouragement! This feeling is indescribable! And I am thankful that God provided the means for us to pay for this journey! I am thankful that we decided to train as a family because we have grown so much closer through all our failures and triumphs! I am thankful for our karate family who always loves us no matter what! I am especially thankful for my amazing husband who has been my rock through my training and he has always helped me believe I could do it! I am thankful for amazing black belts of all ages who are examples of the type of person Analyse wants to be and she sees them all as role models of courage, perseverance, determination, success! Yes my heart is bursting with so much thankfulness and I can’t keep it in. I want to share this with all the students at MMA and help, teach, love, and encourage them to be here! God is so good and everyday I thank Him for that flyer that came in the mail back in April 2014 from MMA that made me stop and consider a possible place for my granddaughter to attend summer camp. In two weeks the three of us get promoted and I have a feeling that is going to be an emotional night. I better stash a lot of Kleenex in my do bohk. Thank you, Jesus!“““““““““““““““““““““““`*It was awesome to see you guys get promoted. We are so proud of you! Mr Rons black belt essay;I started taking karate at Middleburg Martial Arts mainly because my grand-daughter, Analyse, was taking it. I realized that I didn’t want to be one of thoseparents that just sat either in their car or on the side so busy on their phones and not watching their kids. I figured that if I am going to be there then I might as welljoin in and get some exercise. I’m the type of person who hates wasting time. The first time I came out on the mats for class with Analyse, I felt like everyonewas staring at me, but I really enjoyed the class and the look of happiness on my granddaughter’s face made my decision to sign up for karate worth it. I mademyself focus on class and not the “audience”. We had all taken Tae Kwon Do three years earlier and we had a blast doing It. Analyse and I did it for almost a year and then my wife took it for about threemonths. The instructors had to move away and they shut their studio down. Wemade the decision not to look around and try to find another place because I havebeen plagued with knee problems ever since high school. Tae Kwon Do definitely made my knee worse. I was told by an Orthopedic surgeon that I would need knee replacement if I kept up with karate so I assumed that I could not take any type of martial arts. I put off having a knee replacement and got a stationary bike. I also went to another Orthopedic doctor and him and I decided that I couldwait for surgery until I couldn’t walk without constant pain. So here I am back on the mats taking karate and enjoying it. Tang Soo Do has not been so rough on my knee. This is something my wife, my granddaughterand I can take together. At first I honestly did not and could not see myself as a black belt. I did not think that my body or me knee would hold up. I work hardphysically every day for work and it takes more of a toll on my body as I get older.I know anything worth achieving is not going to be easy. When I was in my midtwenties, I entered a lot of weight lifting and body building contest back in the early 90’s. I had to work my butt off and constantly train to get in shape and condition for the competitions. But the hard work was worth it when I won the South Florida Strongman competition in 1993. This is different though. At first I was only taking karate because my family was taking it and I thought that it couldn’t hurt to get some flexibility. I had nothing to prove to anyone. But then I learned that I do! I am proving tomyself that I can do it and I will be a black belt. The written tests scared the heck out of me. I was never good in school.Since it was so hard for me I made a terrible decision to just drop out in my senior year and I have never gotten my GED. I never had encouragement from myparents when I was growing up. They were abusive both physically and verbally to my brother and me. All I learned from them was hate, anger and violence. After constantly being told that you are worthless and stupid, you believe it.When I met my wife, Susanna, I probably read at about a 3rd grade reading level. That was twenty-four years ago. She is the one who encouraged me to read my first book ever cover to cover. She is and always will be the best thing that has ever happened to me. After we started attending Master Lappin’s Gold meetings I started reading some books that she recommended. I realizedthat I had to reprogram my brain to believe that learning and reading are funthings to do. The first time I saw the written test for green belt, I felt instantfear and my wife saw that fear in my eyes. She told me that I can do and that she was going to help study and be ready for the test. We studied for three months almost every day and I know those 14 Attitude Requirements by heart! For all the written tests I had to take it one question at a time, one pageat a time. We continued to study our next written test within one week afterpassing the previous written test. We printed up our tests and studied at dinner almost every night and we continued to encourage each other thatwe could do this! Training as a family has been great. Not only do we take class togetherbut we practice together at home. We turned half of our garage into a studiofor practice! And when one or sometimes two of us were not motivated to go to class or to practice, the other would rally us together for either class or practice. Learning all the curriculum has been great for me, challenging, but great! It has my brain thinking and working harder that it has in a long time. Maybeever! When I became a green belt I would have to say that is when I started tosee myself as a black belt. Still to this day all the Korean terminology scares mebut I just take it one bite at a time and continue to study and practice. The open tournaments have been awesome. The first one we entered in,we were just white belts. That was a big step for us! But I know that that helped us to feel even more motivated. The Regional events were even better.Those challenged us even more. In July 2016, we went to World Tournament.Wow! That was really cool and eye opening. I know that if our family had notstarted going and plugging in right away into everything, then we would of missed out on so much growth. Not just the competitions that have helped increase self-confidence, but the many friends we have made along the wayand the fun we have had with those friends and each other. When my wife and I first decided to start karate, we started taking MasterLappin’s adult classes. I know those classed helped us improve even more. Wewere only white belts taking that class with so many black belts and that wasintimidating at first but they were so encouraging and they believed in us. Theirbelief kept us coming back. We began to learn so much more advanced stuffthan if we were just in our regular classes. We were always in awe and tried hard to catch on and fumble through the moves. But Master Lappin was always so supportive and encouraging and she really had us believing that wewere doing good so we kept trying harder. I know that this chapter in my life, becoming a black belt, has helped me to grow to be a better man, a better encourager, and a much kinder and happier person. I know that I am also in great shape for someone my age! I know how proud of myself I will be at black belt instead of being that guy who just quit ata colored belt. I want to thank all the black belt instructors at Middleburg Martial Arts. They have all impacted my life in one way or another. Thank you, MasterLappin, for being a great role model and being the same kind person on and off the mats. Your encouragement has helped me feel better about myself and get more motivated as I have gone through this journey to black. I also need to say thank you to my wife and granddaughter. I would not have made it withoutthem. Tang Soo Do! *Ms Susanna had an awesome essay as well. It was a little more personal though. If you are interested   in reading it please let her know.
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