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Offered by: Colorado Karate Club

Seems to me that this year I have attended more High School graduations and graduation parties than usual. My daughter’s for one, other family, and friends too. It is amazing to see these, once little rambunctious toddlers, are now adults, and getting ready to take on this scary world.

It is interesting to think that after having finally achieved this milestone, these young folks now face all new challenges, college, work, armed forces boot camp, and much more. Although, that is just how life goes, a series of climbing, achieving and starting over again.  is reminded me of how our students are promoted in Karate, brought down from the high spot they have earned into the bottom of a new class.

At our Karate school, after rank evaluations, many students are promoted from one class level into the next, pre-Karate to beginners, beginners to the intermediate, and intermediate to advanced. The student has earned the promotion by demonstrating discipline, skill, and by distinguishing him/herself above the rest, becoming top of their class.

However, after being promoted, they find themselves now at the bottom of the totem pole. Things are suddenly hard in the new class, other students seem so much more competent. In the new class they are now following instead of leading, struggling instead of excelling, looking up from the bottom of the hill rather than down from the top of the mound. The question is whether they will endure this shock to their ego for a small amount of time, so that they may become top of the class again, be promoted again, and start over again… but at a higher level each time.

I like to think that by experiencing these challenges early in life, many of our Karate students learn to take these life cycles of “achievement and starting over” in a more positive way.  eir minds have been trained to see new beginnings as signs of progress, and the new challenges as exciting opportunities which they may embrace wholeheartedly.

As I watch all these young smiling faces walking with cap and gown to receive their diplomas, my hope is that their minds are strong and their egos kept in check as they approach life outside the comfort and security of home. These new experiences may be difficult at first, but by enduring and overcoming them they will become stronger, more resilient, and unstoppable in every facet of life. To the graduating class of 2022, our congratulations and best wishes in all your future endeavors. Stay strong, work hard, and never give up.

Sensei Willy Strohmeier
Colorado Karate Club

Colorado Karate Club