I was fortunate enough to start training at a Dojo when it first opened. From the beginning, I was a senior belt and had high expectations set by my Sensei. I had to be the role model for the other students. I had to show them what it meant to be a higher belt.
Every one of us is a role model. This cannot be taken lightly. Being a role model is a burdensome yet fulfilling task. It sets the standard for others to live up to. You are the manifestation of their goals. Being a role model, is having the honor to influence someone. Most don’t have this privilege.
Larysa Martin is a 16 year old brown belt grading for her Black Belt this summer. She’s trained for a decade. Her written requirement for Black Belt is, “What Karate means to me”. With her permission, I want to share a piece of it:
“I think one of the things that really impacted me was the people I was surrounded with at the dojo. For my career’s class this semester I was asked to name five people who have had an impact on my life. My friends struggled to find people other than their parents who had positively affected their lives. I on the other hand, had a different problem… trying to narrow it down to just five people. You see I have been surrounded my entire life at the dojo by so many amazing people who have been positive role models. I had a shopping list of people to choose from.”
Shihan Cyr – Head Instructor and Founder – Academy of Martial Arts