I began my training under Sensei Guinee the summer of 1997. I was instantly impressed by the mutual respect taught and practiced by the lowest belt, up to Sensei. Respect is demanded simply by the presence of Sensei and the other Black Belt instructors. I knew immediately this was the Dojo for me. I value the fact that every stripe and obi change is earned. There are no handouts(free-bees) in our Dojo! If an instructor gives a compliment or a critique, a pat on the back or pushes your stamina, there is always a reason for it. I see every class as a challenge. The more effort I put into my training,the more benefits I take home with me. Benefits such as health, strength,(mentally and physically), confidence (in the Dojo and in life), focus, patience, the art of karate, and skills in self defense.
I achieved the level of Black Belt first degree on November 7, 2005. This was one of the proudest days of my life. Reaching the level of 1st Dan presents a transition in my training and new responsibilities. Sensei and the other Black Belts have made this transition as smooth as possible and welcoming me into the family. I see the transition to Black Belt a little like reaching the maturity level to move from the children’s table at Thanksgiving dinner , to the grown ups table. You get a bigger fork, a knife with a point and a sharp edge and you are expected not to spill the gravy when you pass it! I am looking forward to studying my future karate training sitting at the grownups table, feasting off of the extensive skills and knowledge of Sensei and my other instructors. I will give the best I have to offer in the way of Goju karate for Sensei, the Dojo and myself. While passing down the skills and knowledge I attain to the lower belts….I’ll try not to spill any gravy. OSS!