How I Became A Reluctant Black Belt

New Albany Black Belt

What’s your image of a black belt? Young, male, fit?

Yep – I had that same thought. I don’t fit that image… Nearly forty, female and a wimp.

Here’s my story – the story of the Reluctant Black Belt.

When I started with Dynamic Self Defense, it was to be involved in an activity with my husband. He had always wanted to get into a martial arts and liked the idea of earning a black belt. Me, not so much… I was somewhat reluctant. I wanted to be with my husband and learning self defense was just a bonus.

Over the first few months I got to know all the adults and to my surprise there were women there! Most of us adults were not the young and fit type either. I found a place that I could be comfortable, work up a sweat and have fun.

As I progressed, I found a sense of confidence about the skills I was learning and I really impressed myself with these new abilities.

This doesn’t mean there were times that I wanted to quit and be done with it – because there were many. Sometimes an injury would make me frustrated and achy or I would feel totally overwhelmed with the rest of my life and feel that I needed a break. But, I had the support of my classmates – all of them having similar issues and many of whom are now black belts too!

There was a point when I realized that I wanted that black belt. I determined that I was worth the struggle and I was going to push through and earn it.

Now, with a black belt around my waist, I look back at the 3 years of training and I am so proud of myself. I accomplished something I didn’t set out to do but turned it into something worth doing for myself.

About Mrs. Vatke

Mrs. Vatke is a first degree black belt in Dynamic Self Defense and an Assistant Instructor. She has been instrumental in the development and adaptation of our curriculum for our female students.

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