I was a very, very proud mother on Saturday, when William passed an extremely gruelling five hour exam and was awarded his black belt in karate.
Only around 1% of the people who start karate make it to black belt, and for William, it was the culmination of six years’ hard work.
Black belts are not given out lightly, and parts of the grading exam were really hard for me to watch – the one-to-one combat in particular had me wincing and nearly having to leave at one point. More than one person sustained minor injuries on the day, and there was more than a little blood as well (thankfully not William’s – he had some horrific bruises, though).
When the black belts and certificates were presented at the end of the day, I’m not ashamed to say that I cried tears of joy and pride for William.
And as William wrote in the essay that was part of his grading exam:
Some people think that black belt is the end of karate. But really, it’s just the end of the beginning.