Dedication and Focus—Using Karate in My Life

Focus. Click to see me performing my Bo Kata.
Karate is a great, fun way to build and strengthen all the different aspects of your life. You have the potential to gain so much from putting time and effort into studying martial arts. You'll:

These are just a few of the ways karate and martial arts have improved my life.

Isshinryu style

Mizugami is the symbol of Isshinryu.
Isshinryu karate originated on the small Japanese island of Okinawa in 1954. The master who created it studied Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu, and combined the two styles to create Isshinryu.

Its most famous technique on the tournament circuit is a simple reverse punch that has won many fights for Isshinryu fighters.

The style's self-defense is very effective and most techniques are easy to remember, so if you're ever in a confrontation or a threatening situation you'll be able to protect yourself.

Because the style has weapon forms and empty-hand forms, Isshinryu is considered a martial art. It's not a flashy style, though. There aren't many flying techniques or spinning kicks, so it doesn't stand out in competition as much as some of the other styles do, but the lack of showy moves makes the self-defense more practical and powerful.

Parental influence

My parents started me in Isshinryu karate when I was about seven years old, and I've been studying since then.   My parents were eager for my sisters and me to take martial arts and learn how to defend ourselves. 1117_3
Click to see another black belt and me working on sparring drills.
Since then I've competed in many local, national, and international tournaments, and I've earned my third degree black belt.

I teach at my original dojo, and at a school that's mine in a way.

I occasionally get burned out when I spend too much time with it or if I worry about a particular class or tournament.


Tournaments can be a very fun part of karate. There are two types: open and closed.


The tournaments are generally split into three divisions: weapons, forms, and sparring.  1117_4
Click to see a student practice her self defense on another black belt student.

Before the tournament begins my head instructor gathers us around for our typical pep talk. “You're the competition” is what the students and I regularly hear from our head instructor.

That pumps everybody up for a good, long day of competing. Competition is so much fun! Getting up in front of a crowd and in front of a panel of judges is a little scary, but very exciting!

I love everything about competing. It's a great way to meet other people my age who love their style and who like to compete.

It's also an adrenaline rush right before you get up to perform for the judges. There are low points to competing in tournaments, too.

Karate has definitely improved my leadership skills...

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