Sunday, January 24, 2010

From White to Black

When I was in kindergarten through second grade there was an after school karate program that I participated in every Friday. I really liked it but once a week wasn't very much.

First Grade

Then in the third grade I went to Italy to live and I took shotokan which is a type of karate. Some of my instructors had been champions. It was strange to find them in the small village where I lived, Greve in Chianti. The head of the school was Michele Romano who was several times European and World Champion. I learned a lot from them.

A Competition at the Karate School in Greve

When I returned to San Diego from Italy we looked for a good karate school. We eventually found the one I am going to now and it happened to be the instructor who taught at my elementary school on Fridays. That was in September 2007.

Since I started at the Allied Gardens School of Martial Arts (AGSMA), I had a goal that I would become a black belt.

There are 6 levels before first degree black belt. The first test I took when I was a white belt, I didn't just pass, I double passed which meant that I got 20 or more points higher than I needed. From second section I tested for third section and passed; from there I tested for fourth section and passed and so until I went all the way to sixth section.

Finally the big day came, my instructor thought I was ready to take my black belt test. I took my test on January 9. It was really intense, but I got through it. I didn't know if I passed that day because I needed to write two 1000 word essays. One of them was on what it means to be a black belt and the other was on loyalty and benevolence which were the code of ethics that I chose to memorize for my test. Part of earning my black belt was that I had to perform community service or help teach 15 lessons to less advanced students. I did the 15 lessons which went by pretty quick. I liked doing it.

When I was done with my essays, I turned them in and waited for them to be graded by the Head Instructor. The Monday after I turned in my essays, I found out that I had passed my test and had earned my first degree black belt. There have been 10's of thousands of students at this school, but only 42 have reached black belt level and I'm one of them.

Now I begin my real training. My new goal is to get to first stripe by the end of this year.

See ya

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Every Christmas, my uncle and I don't think it''s the same without getting a Lego. Even though my Uncle is a grown man, he really likes Legos. Each year we get one for him that has more and more pieces. Same thing with me because I'm getting better with legos.

Uncle Jeff opening his Lego--Can you tell how surprised he is?

I usually like to build my own. My specialty in my own buildings are usually airships or planes. I've even invented new transforming legos.

This year I got a 1624 piece Volkswagon Beetle. It's sort of special because my family plays the "slug bug" game. If you don't know what that is, every time you see a Volkswagon Beetle you get to hit someone if you're the first person to see it.

I wanted to start on it as soon as I could so two days after Christmas, I started to build it. It took me a while and through it I had some difficulties with pieces that were not there. I had to substitute pieces that I ended up not needing.

This was a good test for me because usually when I get frustrated I have a hard time. But doing this one I was able to keep going and finish my quest of making the lego.

When I was finished it looked like this.

Two weeks after I finished it, my grandpa pulled a joke on me and said that he had dropped it on the way to putting it in my room and broke it. But he didn't. I really did not think it was a good joke. My gramma didn't think it was funny either. My grandpa's always telling jokes (most of the time they're not even funny) but this one was really up there in not being funny.

I wonder what "Lego Santa" will bring next year.

See ya..

KZ in TOSCANA (or KC in So. Cal.)


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