When I first stepped into this dojo five years ago, I didn’t know that karate would change my life. I didn’t even plan to start training – I was here to sign up my then six year old son. After six months of peering through doorways and windows, I said to myself, “I think I could do this.” Now, Karate influences countless aspects of my daily life. I can look at someone who has invaded my personal space without fear – and feel confident. I can grab things in midair that have fallen from my kitchen counter or a shelf – and feel quick and graceful and shake my head in wonder. I can hear my daughter tell her friends that “my mom is almost a …black belt in karate” – I feel pride. I can open a jar lid, carry grocery bags, shovel snow, or run up stairs tow at a time – and feel strength.