Black Belt Paper by Skylar Mills-Baptiste

Karate, and this karate school, is and always has been a big part of my life. It’s where I found my passion, myself, an extended family, friends, a second home. I can remember the day that I stepped into A.T.K for the first time in my little purple sweatpants. The moment I stood in yoi for the first time, it felt right, like I found the thing I could do for a long time and love it every step of the way. As I have grown up doing karate I found my personality and my true passion. I have found such great friends who have stuck with me over the years. I have found my extended family that I know I can go to when I need someone.

ATK has turned into my second home. It’s filled with memories from my past that still dwell in my mind every now and then. It’s filled with the people that I know and love. It’s my escape from reality. The moment I step into the dojo, I’m in another universe. A place where I don’t have to worry about what is troubling me in the real world. ATK is when I have grown up and so have my friends and teachers. I can remember when my teachers were pretty much just starting to teach. Working so hard to find their way in the world and to get their black belts. Now they are full fledged black belts and taking the world by storm. Watching their love of teaching has given me that same love.

Getting my teaching title has been my goal for a very long time. Showing the new generation of students how to do karate just as much as helping them find their way in the world, just like my teachers are teaching me now and have been for a long time. Karate is my soul passion that I absolutely love dearly. It has been a tremendous part of my life. I love the structure and the rules of it all. I love the power that comes with every strike. I love the mindfulness that it takes to do all of this. I love the stories and the culture that come with it as well. Karate has been a large part of my life for a long time and always will be to me. I have found my true passion and I’m going to stay with it and love every second of it. My love for karate and the Academy of Traditional Karate will always stay with me.

Written by Skylar Mills-Baptiste