By Lisa Nowicki
June 11, 2018
Dear Ms. Patty,
On the pages of this binder are the logs of hours spent training, learning and volunteering in my martial arts journey at TNT. To an outsider, they may seem like just numbers, tracking hours, just as a new driver tracks time behind the wheel. But I know that you, as our Master Instructor, and a martial arts student yourself, are aware that each hour logged represents some of the most important hours I have spent. They represent hard work, dedication, persistence, and exhaustion and weariness. They represent the accomplishment of mastering new, more advanced techniques, and the humility of a well-deserved loss to a lower ranked opponent in sparring, the pain of hard training and injury, and the pride and joy of each and every belt and rank promotion.
I began training in karate as a way to spend time with my children, and aside from my family, it has become one of the most important aspects of my adult life. There have been periods of time I sacrificed and compromised in my home life to train, and there have been times I have adjusted my training to accommodate and respect my family.
Attaining the rank of black belt is truly a new beginning in martial arts. A time to realize that a martial artist must constantly evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and work to improve wherever those weaknesses lie. Every new degree is an opportunity to ask “Where have my skills lessened? How can I improve those areas?” and “Where are my skills strong? How can I share my strengths with other students?” I have found that I have learned and improved a great deal by becoming an assistant instructor. One must be knowledgeable and confident in every detail in order to teach those techniques to others.
My commitment to the martial arts is strong because I believe it is a great example of “You get out what you put in.” One could show up, lackadaisically make it through class, and perform the minimum requirements to proceed through belt testings. This results in becoming a mediocre martial artist at best. If one puts their best effort and focus into each class and strives for perfection, or improvement, at every class, the result is becoming a strong, accomplished martial artist. The work never ends, and the reward never ends, because the real reward is not a belt or rank, but the opportunity to continue to train and grow as a martial artist.
Aspects of martial arts I enjoy are the physical conditioning, continuous mental stimulation of learning new things and constantly working to improve. I appreciate the mutual respect between teacher and student, between students themselves and between instructors. I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to train in such a fine facility as TNT, with knowledgeable, experienced, caring instructors and many other dedicated students. I humbly request your consideration for my promotion to the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
2nd degree black belt