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What it means to be a Black Belt

I received this message from a fellow school owner and instructor, Mr. Whitaker, this morning:

I ask all of my Jr. Black Belt candidates to write a 1 page paper on what it means to be a Black Belt. This child [Zack] is 8 years old and he has been a student of mine for almost 5 years. ZackĀ“s mother made it a point to tell me with tears in her eyes that they did not help him at all with the wording of this paper. She simply typed what he dictated to her. This is what 8 year old Zack wrote:

“Being a black belt is more than just a belt rank; it is a way of life. It is my greatest accomplishment. I had to sacrifice time with friends, television, video games, and other school activities. Even though I had to make a lot of sacrifices, I walked away with so much more. I have learned physical fitness, nutrition, and focus of the mind and body. I have learned to control my anger while having respect for myself and others. I have also learned how important self-discipline and teamwork is, and that you should never give up. I also learned to believe in myself. I have learned determination and it has given me the courage and confidence to stand up for what is right even when my friends make fun of me. It has taken a lot of hard work and has been a great learning experience. I know I have many more things to learn, and I welcome the chance. I know that when the time comes I will make a big difference in this world. Remember to ALWAYS strive for excellence!!! “

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