What Karate Means To Me

I first started Karate at this club when I was 11 years old with my friend. We used to attend a different club but I was disinterested and felt I was not getting much out of the lessons. My friend and I switched to this club. We were already green belts, but after a few lessons I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and that I was not up to green belt standards, there was a lot for me to learn! Eventually my friend quit due to lack of interest, but I stuck to it and over the years I have greatly improved and very glad I did not quit too.

Because I am one of the youngest in the club, training with adults who are black belts has greatly improved my confidence and my fitness. Because of the support and encouragement of my peers I am no longer nervous when I have to perform my Kata in front of the class. I have also learned to take criticism and not get upset, but to take it and learn from it. I now have the confidence to stand up for myself and fight back when I am being challenged.

Karate is a place where I can escape to, and feel free when I feel things are hard. It is like escaping to another world. Karate is not just about self defence, but it’s in your head too. My last teacher said to me if you work hard at martial arts you will get a lot out of it and he was right.

At my 2nd kyu grading in 2007, I not only passed the grading, but I won junior student of the year award for dedication, growth and commitment in the study and practice of Goju. This was one of the greatest achievements of my life, and made me want to study Karate even more and get my black belt and higher. I never thought a lot about getting my black belt until now, I knew it would be hard, and it is, but I am going to put my best effort into getting my black belt. It will be a proud moment for me when Sensei presents it to me because I know I have put my heart and soul into it.

Over the years of learning Karate, I have learned to pay attention or you won’t be

able to get things right. I have learned to pay respect to those who are teaching me and pay attention to them. I have learned that Karate is not just fighting and self defence, which I thought it was at first, but it’s in your mind and spirit also.

Whenever I have to go to a Karate lesson, I cannot be bothered at first and I would rather stay at home, but when I get there, I learn so much and I enjoy it. After a nights lesson, I go home and get in bed and think, that was a great lesson! Since I started karate here, I have the courage to stand up for myself, talk to people, and make friends. I now have more friends at school than I have ever had before. This is something I have always struggled with. When things get hard at school, Karate has helped me to stay out of fights.

Without Karate I would be lost. It is a source of fitness for me and a great place for me to chill. It has made me a better person and made me realise that I am just as good or sometimes even better than the next person. I am good enough to participate in all things and my opinion really does count.

Marc Del Cimmuto began training at Shushinkai karatedo on 3rd April 2006, at age 11 years. He was graded to Shodan on 30th November, 2008, at age 13 years.He was awarded Nidan on 5th October 2013.