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My own personal karate journey...

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Hi everyone, in my first blog entry I’d love to share with you my very own personal karate journey. Karate is also known as Karate-Do, Do meaning the way, the journey, the path. This path is different for all of us. It requires a lot of determination, discipline and loving what you do to find your own way. The way is never easy and straight but more like a windy road that takes you further and further with time.


With karate you're never done. You will never reach a state of knowing-it-all even as a black belt. It’s an ongoing search of perfection but you can find yourself along the way. It’s not just a sport but also a way of life.


My karate journey started more than 18 years ago in my hometown. At that time, I was an insecure teenager who was fascinated by martial arts but only seen them on TV so far. Then a dojo offered a beginner’s course for children. Although I was intrigued it was my mum who registered me at the local karate dojo (thanks, mum).


I was pretty lucky because the dojo was very close to our house and after some hesitation, I went to training for the first time. And I absolutely loved it. I was a in group of other teenagers and younger children who never practised karate before and we could all learn karate from the beginning.


Quickly, I made friends with some of the other kids and for the first time actually engaged in a sport. I tried different sports before like basketball, volleyball and even fencing but none of them felt right for me and I have never been committed. This changed with karate though. I loved the sport, the challenge and everything there was to learn.

My first dojo was very traditional and so I learned many details that are not taught at every karate school. Next to practising the basic stances, punches and kicks I also learned a great deal about discipline, respect and humility.


Within one year I went from being shy and insecure to a self-confident and strong young woman. I also lost some weight, got in shape and felt better than ever. I practised as much as I could and was very happy to receive my first belt after some time.


Due to a change of schools I had to go to another dojo but this was a new opportunity to make even more karate friends and train harder, longer and more often. Even though I had to take a tram for about 1 hour to get to the dojo I almost went to training every day after school. So naturally, I quickly advanced and went from white belt to green belt in a relatively short time. I also went to tournaments and could always take a medal or trophy home which encouraged me even more.


2nd place kata & 3rd place kumite at a local tournament

After school I moved cities again and had to find a new dojo. This was pretty complicated but when I started uni (I studied nutritional science) there was a small group of karateka who practised together. I did my first blue belt during this time. However, the training there was not so much fun and I made new friends at the gym and gradually went from being a karateka to a weight lifter.

I trained almost daily at the gym for about 5 years and even competed in professional power lifting. At my first German Championship I managed to set 8 new world records in my age and weight division.


Dead lifts at the gym

After this, I went abroad for a long time and stopped karate and weight lifting altogether. I was travelling, enjoying myself and seeing the world. Finally, when I came back home and got a proper job I decided to take up karate again.

Luckily, I found a great new dojo near my place and trained for about 3 to 4 days a week. I went from being a blue belt to first kyu (brown belt).


After that I had to move cities again but quickly registered at a new and very competitive dojo. Since than I have been competing in many championships in kata and kumite competitions.


During that time I also did my first dan (black belt). For this test I had to revise and improve everything I have learned in karate over the years.

Now being a blackbelt for some time I would love to take you along on this beautiful journey and share all my knowledge and experience with you. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced karate practitioner. The main thing is to believe in yourself and never quit!


OSS

Karolin

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