Maya Walton is an excellent role model. She runs our demo team, which is doing a terrific job. Below is a copy of her 2nd degree essay which discusses why people should make Tang Soo Do a way of life. Well done Maya!
My Passion, My Escape, My Life by Maya Walton
Passion, by definition is, “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something”. I believe this definition fits perfectly with martial arts. I basically eat, live, and breathe it. I sometimes take up to about 5 classes a week to better my stamina and technique. Though I think the reason I take karate isn’t just to better my stamina and techniques, but to relieve some stress that I go through with school and just life in general. I believe that karate is my passion because I enjoy doing it. When I step out onto the mat with that black belt wrapped around my waist, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I am proud of myself reaching this far with my training and continuing to train because I am doing what makes me happy.
Practicing to the best of my ability, making my techniques look real, and just the thought of being able to protect myself in a time of need, is why karate is my passion. I enjoy the feeling of doing awesome jump spinning kicks and flying through the air. I enjoy going home sweaty; because that proves that I worked hard and put all out effort into my techniques. The goal of us instructors is to make sure our students go home in 3 ways. They leave class sweaty, smiling and laughing. It is important that our students are sweaty, smiling, and laughing when they leave because it shows us instructors that they are happy to come train everyday and want to come back. It makes me happy to be able to teach my students how to defend themselves. I’m glad they enjoy coming to class everyday with a smile on their face. I train for them. They mean everything to me and I wouldn’t give up teaching them for the world. My passion for martial arts is not just for learning new techniques or jump kicks or anything like that, I believe my passion for martial arts, starts with teaching my students how to become a better person, have a better life, and how to protect themselves when they need it the most.
Escape, by definition is, “an act of breaking free”. Karate and martial arts represent a form of escape for me when I step on the mat to train. I feel that sensation of freedom from all my problems that I may be facing. I just can let go and breath for a moment. Even teaching kids helps me escape sometimes. They know how to make you smile and laugh. In class, the instructor is supposed to provide the energy level. If the instructor is having a bad day, then the students will have a bad day too. Even though sometimes I am having a bad day, going to the studio changes all that. Doing what I love transfers to my students still having a good time learning and bettering their techniques.
When I take class in the afternoon and evening, the definition of escape changes. I am able to clear my mind of everything and focus. By having a clear mind, I can concentrate on my techniques and forms better because I’m not thinking about anything else. Though escaping in my mind isn’t just about clearing my head and concentrating. When I think of the word escape, I think being able to just be myself when I train and have fun while doing it. I think that is the most important thing you could learn from doing karate aside from all the kicking and punching. When I take class in the afternoon and evening, I train with all the power and snap I can because I always want to better myself when I do my techniques. Even when I do something incorrect or get critisized for just a little thing, I take that into considersation and make sure I learn from it and find a way to improve for the next time. I believe escaping from any problem your facing is key. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do to acomplish that but, it is always important that you did. Then you can come back to the problem with a fresh perspective. Whenever I try my very best in class and get recognized for it, it makes me feel special. It makes me feel like I belong in my studio training with my friends and family. I enjoy that feeling because it makes me happy. I am just blessed with this opportunity to come to a place like Middleburg Martial Arts and learn Tang soo do.
Life, by definition is, “an experience of living.” I think when I train my hardest, when I put all of my effort into my techniques, that I feel somewhat alive. A sense that I can just let go and do what I love. I enjoy that feeling when I break a board or do a technique right. It makes me feel great about myself. I believe that I was put into this world for a reason. Though this reason may not be karate but, at least I found karate in my life on this Earth. Karate helps with so many situations and problems that I come across with school and with my family. Though I think in the end, it’s all worth while because I am benefiting from what Tang soo do provides me. There are so many characteristics of the tennets I use and follow in my everyday life. Such as, different life skills that help me become a better person each and every day.
The skills that have impacted me the most are, being focused, determined, having respect, dedication, and perserverance. I now understand what they truly mean. When I look at these words, I see myself in many of them. When I think of perserverance, I think of the time two years ago when I tested for my first degree black belt. I never gave up training, I never gave up practicing to be where I am today with that black belt around my waist. When I think of the word dedication. I see also, that I never gave up the hours of training to get to where I am today. With dedication, I am now up to test for my second degree black belt. Even with all the sweat dripping down my face and fatigue setting in, I still don’t give up. Because I’ve worked too long and too hard to give up now. When I think of the word determintation, I think that it’s quite similar to dedication. Though, by definition, determination is “a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult”. I think determination is important to have because it shows that you stop at nothing to get to your goal.
When I think of the word respect, I think that it is something that everyone should have. Respect, by definition is, “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements”. Respect is a type of qualtiy that everyone should have because it is important. I believe having respect is important because when you’re talking to someone, you make sure you’re looking at them as you’re speaking. Listening and following directions the first time is a big part of respect. The seven key words to show respect are, yes m’am, no m’am, yes sir, no sir, please, thankyou, and your welcome. These words go a long way towards showing and getting respect in return. Just like the Golden Rule states, “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”
When I think of the word focus, what first comes to mind would be concentration. Focus, by definition is, “to direct one’s attention or efforts.” When my students or I take karate class, it is important to focus and concentrate on our techniques so we can test for our next belt. When I focus during class, I can do my techniques better because I’m only thinking about them.
I believe all these things are what make karate and martial arts my passion, my escape, and most importantly, my life. I’d say without karate; I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have the confidence to speak in front of people like I do today. I wouldn’t have the determination and dedication to even finish my first-degree black belt test. I wouldn’t have the perseverance to step out on the mat day after day. But, I’m glad I did because 6 years ago, my first class started a chain reaction. My passion for karate isn’t like anything else. I feel just fantastic when I bow and step on the mat to train. I wouldn’t trade Tang soo do for the world. It has helped me to become an all around better person. I enjoy knowing that with my many years of training, I can protect myself when my life is in danger and as well as others too.
Karate is my life because I just enjoy the feeling of breaking a board with my hands and feet. I enjoy the feeling of doing a technique right. I enjoy training with my friends and family. I can just let go of all of the problems that I might be facing at the moment and breathe. I can empty my mind and do a slower form to help me concentrate on that form only. Sometimes in class, I get an opportunity to mediate and relax my body. I just breathe to calm and get rid of all the stress and negative thoughts out of my mind. Those negative thoughts vanish from my brain when I take class and mediate. It helps me focus better in school. Martial arts is my escape; it let’s me have a feeling of freedom when I train. It allows me to be myself. I eat, live and breathe Tang soo do. Over the six years it has become my passion. As I said before, I have a feeling of accomplishment because I have that first-degree black belt wrapped around my waist. I am proud of what I have accomplished thusfar, and I am excited to share this experience with my friends and family. I am truly thankful and appreciative to have found a one of a kind studio such as Middleburg Martial arts, they treat everyone like family.
Karate is something most people associate with kicking and punching. Most start taking classes because they want to learn how to fight. To me, that isn’t the reason I train. That isn’t the reason why my parents signed me up in the first place. To me, karate and martial arts is a program where starting at a young age, you can learn everything and anything about having discipline, respect, focus, perseverance, determination, and dedication. Karate is something that once you start, it’s something that you don’t want to stop. Karate is everything I ever wanted in life. Karate has helped me with school, getting good grades and has helped improve my behavior. Karate has also helped me with my self confidence when I talk to someone or a group of people. I used to be very shy
and I didn’t like to talk to anyone when I was younger. Though martial has turned that around for me. My whole life has been flipped upside down because of martial arts. If you want to better yourself and learn different life skills such as the ones I have mentioned previously, then Tang Soo Do is right for you.
I am glad to call Middleburg Martial arts my second family because I wouldn’t trade it for the world. All the days and weeks of going to the studio to practice and train have paid off. I am now eligible to test for my second degree black belt. I will continue to give all out effort and maintain a serious approach with everything I do. Whether it’s karate, school or my life at home, I will always try my best. This is why karate is my passion. It’s why, it’s my escape in my time of need. It is why I am dedicated and determined to get my second degree and the many belts to follow. Karate is my passion, my escape, my life.