It has been an amazing and eye opening 20 years of martial arts training for me. I am currently a 5th degree black belt with 15 state championship titles under me. To this day, I still ask myself “How did I get started with my training, why did it last this long, and what have I gained from all of this time?”
I started my training back in June of 1997. As a child, I was incredibly shy to the point where I wouldn’t speak to others. Because of that, I was consistently harassed and bullied by other kids in my school. My parents searched and had me try different activities to see if it would bring me out of my shell, with no success. One day, my mother received a flyer for karate classes at my local community center and took me to try it. After my first class, I immediately fell in love with it. The class was energizing, fun, and it also gave me a chance to come out of my shell.
For 20 years, I have done roughly 6 styles of martial arts (10 of those years in the ATA). From all of those years, I have gained self-discipline, confidence, and respect for myself and others.
I don’t think I would be as successful as I am today without the lessons of martial arts nor would I be as happy.
What makes this even better is that I have made martial arts into my career! I currently run the North Scottsdale academy under the guidance of Senior Master Landgren-Lee and every day, I get to give my students the chance to experience what I did as a kid and what it can do for them over time. Martial arts has absolutely impacted my life in countless amazing ways!