I earned my first-degree black belt on February 19, 2011. As a first-degree I got serious about competing. I competed in tournaments in the northeast region from new England to Virginia Beach. I was struggling in my training, but competing helped me improve and test for Second Degree black belt. I reviewed the videos my Dad took and worked on the improving in an area for the next tournament or testing.
I competed at districts for the first time in 2013. I competed in Form, Weapons, Sparring, and combat Sparring. I placed weapons, sparring and combat sparring. At the 2014 Districts I placed 2nd in weapons and
combat sparring. In 2015 I earned district champion in weapons and 2nd place in combat sparring. Earning district champion in an event means an opportunity to compete in an event at the Tournament of Champions.
I competed at the 2015 world championships in Little Rock . The first day I was there I competed at tournament of Champions in weapons. Most of the people I competed against used the single sshang joel bang. This meant fierce competition and close scores from the judges. I did my best performance with the sshang joel bang but received an average score as did most people. I saw how where my skill is at Worlds.
I took me over four years to earn my Second- Degree Black belt. The fastest it takes to earn a second degree black belt is one year. I realize most for most people it takes more than a year. If you are struggling in your training I would suggest that you be humble and admit when you’re struggling. Also don’t be discouraged if people that started after you pass in rank. Keep running your race and keep training hard.
I tested for second degree recommended (2R) in August 2015 and from there I saw my hard work start to pay off. In October I successfully mid termed as a (2R). Then finally in December 2015 I earned my Second degree black belt. Competition and my struggles in my training has given me perseverance. I hope this encourages anyone out there whether they are a beginner or a black belt to keep their eye on the prize.