Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Defining Moments

I was just reading Narda's blog, Harlan's Place, and she was writing about one of her defining moments in her life. This got me to thinking...(those damn monkeys are talking again)...about my own defining moments, especially as it relates to Karate and/or Zen.

I am interested in other people's defining moments as well. What inspired you or changed you in some shape or form that propelled you to Black Belt or even to start a martial art? Let us know. Stories are interesting.

My earliest defining moment in Karate that shaped me into a Black Belt was when I was about 15 years old. I had been studying Karate for about a year/year and a half, and as I was standing at attention in line Sensei Dean came over to me, grabbed my dirty white belt (we didnt' have yellow or orange belts back then) at the knot and said, "You are going to make a fine Black Belt some day." He then moved on. Those words 'hypnotized' me. At that moment I became a Black Belt in my head and seven years later it materialized. Those words rang through my head and deep into my spirit. It was the right thing at the right time. Simple words that turned into a powerful message and defining moment for me personally.
So how about you?

Looking forward to hearing some stories.

Hands palm to palm,



  1. One of my defining karate moments occurred after my brown belt testing. The test lasted until late afternoon. The testing group went out to eat after the session. I happened to be seated near my instructor. He stopped eating for a moment and said to me "I will see you test for Renshi(4th Dan)one day". Shodan seemed far away...Renshi was not even a thought. I looked around the table to see if anyone else had heard. The rest of the group were busy eating and talking. The thought of being a karate instructor never entered my mind prior to this conversation.

  2. Thanks Michele. It's amazing how those 'what -seem-like-simple-phrases' can be so powerful.

  3. I have two, the first you already know about. The first was when you allowed us to wear your black belt (or one of them; I forget), and told us to picture ourselves as Black Belts, and nothing less.

    My other one, as last Summer, the first time I really sparred Olivia Z (that I clearly recall). It was a defining moment because it not only showed me just how much I had to learn (and still have to learn), but also... revitalized Karate for me. For awhile it had almost become a chore to practice, and I found myself slipping and it being hard to... well, care. But that summer breathed new life into everything. I admit, part of it was my competitive nature. I wanted to be a good sparring partner to Olivia, and anyone else I faced. I wanted to be able to talk to other martial artists about my style and practice with a sense of understanding; be informative and respected for whatever level I was at. Between weapons training and sparring that summer, I not only (like to think that I) jumped in skill, but also gained confidence and found my root. That's carried over to this year and the present, and the wind has remained at my back.

    Now that I've managed to type a lengthy post, my goal is reached. It's not really a 'moment', but it seems like it now.

  4. Thanks Mariah. Sometimes we need a little challenge to keep us moving forward. My Olivia Z's name was Dave R. He broke my ribs, not once but twice. Rather than quit, I took it as a challenge and this raised my training to the next level.