After months of training, and six years of lessons, this past weekend my son officially became a black belt in karate.
I am insanely, ridiculously proud of him.
Zach is not really a “sports kid,” and a number of the requirements for the seven to eight hour exam were arduous for him. Among other requirements he had to complete numerous situps and pushups, five hundred kicks, and most difficult for him, a two mile run.
I trained with him. I think for a good deal of it he hated my guts, but he agreed it paid off in the end.
There were times over the past six years I wasn’t sure Zach would be able to go the distance. Sometimes his concentration was lacking- at times he didn’t want to practice. Overall however he was able to focus on the goal he wanted, work incredibly hard for it, and never give up.
And even with all that hard work he never would have achieved this if it weren’t for the vision of Master Paul Prendergast and the dedication and patience of the men and women at Paul Prendergast Karate.
During Zach’s initial years at karate he was not the easiest pupil some days. When he was really little he lacked focus and was impulsive, neither of which are really conducive to advancing in ranks. With time and maturity he came into his own, but I am confident he never would have gotten to this place without his instructors.
Their compassion and commitment to Zach lasted the entire six years he’s been at the school. They knew instinctively when to push him, and when to hang back and let him figure things out for himself. He was always encouraged to be his best, and to work at his own pace during classes. The curriculum does not just pertain to karate moves however – it also has a focus on self-betterment, including school achievement, behavior, and character development, all of which helped Zach become a more well-rounded person.
Zach was always told he could achieve what he wanted as long as he dedicated himself fully to it. And I am happy to say after these past two weekends, the staff at PPK were right.
I have felt for years that there are two activities in Zach’s life which will help him be confident in adulthood. One is scouting, which among other things has taught him most importantly to self- advocate. The other is karate, where he has not only learned to defend himself, but has learned how much he can stretch himself to achieve goals that at times seemed out of his grasp. I truly feel his time at karate has helped prepare him for college, enhanced his academics, and increased his self-confidence many times over.
I can’t recommend this program enough for any kid who is different, who desires self-confidence, or needs to develop self-discipline.
And I can’t recommend enough the staff at PPK for helping my son achieve all of these things.
Thank you Paul Prendergast Karate!
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