What the Martial Arts Have Done For Me
Judges, my name is Robert Gonzalez, and I proudly represent the Black Belt Academy of Haymarket, Virginia. For my Black Belt I am required to give a speech on What The Martial Arts Have Done For Me. The Martial Arts have emphasized three important concepts for me: Setting the Example, Love of Family, and Never Quitting.
The Martial Arts have helped me to set a good example for others and to be a better father. This training has allowed me to get in the trenches, on the mat, side by side, not only with my children but also with other students and to experience this journey first hand. I feel what they feel. To me, this is leadership by example.
The Martial Arts have helped me to better appreciate my love of family. I could not have made it this far in this program without the support, encouragement, and love, of my wife and my children. I have had the rare joy of sharing in something not many families have the pleasure and the privilege of doing together.
The Martial Arts have helped me to know the value of never quitting on a goal, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes to reach it. It reminds me nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. Reaching Black Belt is a long slow struggle. It takes dedication to keep on going.
One thing remains true: “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.” This has been a priceless lesson to teach and to have shared with my family and my children. This is one of the greatest moments of my life.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family and all my instructors. It has been a joy and an honor to share this experience with all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and thank you most sincerely.
I used to be an honor roll student, but now I am a proud father and husband, Sir!
Black Belt Speech, 2012
"Our two boys have completely opposite personalities yet you were able to take each and teach them in a way that best suited them. Our 8-year-old is showing more confidence, takes pride in his achievements and has improved his coordination tremendously.
Our 6-year-old son has learned to focus, concentrate and have some self-control. Mr. Nyce's "end of class" talks really help reinforce the values, morals, and respect that we were already teaching at home.
Master Ehrlich provides just enough discipline to push the kids to try even harder without causing them to be discouraged. The result is a school full of students achieving more than they thought possible.
The teaching assistants are not only wonderful teachers but also great role models. The students see what they can achieve if they work hard. They see what dedication is all about. I have on several occasions heard the assistants talking with the students, giving them guidance and showing they care. They've talked about the importance of doing homework and respecting parents, etc.
When we joined the Black Belt Academy, we didn't realize that not only would we be part of a school but also part of a family. We appreciate all that you have done for our boys over the past year and a half and look forward to the next several years at the Black Belt Academy."
"They are all to be commended for their work with our children and adults for their tireless efforts to train and build character. Their program not only teaches karate techniques that are superb, but instills confidence and superb character to all their students."
"We wanted a school with instructors that would be able to handle the special needs of our son and be good for our other children too. All of the classes have been taught in a professional manner by the experienced instructors with the rank of Black Belt. Mr. Nyce and the rest of the instructors have worked with us and the children in keeping one message about behavior, consequences and rewards.
We feel that Mr. Nyce and the instructors at the Black Belt Academy have taught our children valuable life skills & lessons. Thank you for everything you have done for us."
Craig & Maria Cowen
"WHAT TAE KWON DO HAS MEANT TO ME AS A PARENT..."
"My two sons began taking Tae Kwon Do lessons with Mr. David Nyce at the beginning of the summer of 1999. My sons at that time were 9 and 10 years old. My older son's class at school took a field trip to the shopping center where Mr. Nyce's martial arts school was located. I was a chaperone on the field trip. We visited all the shops in the shopping center including Mr. Nyce's studio. Mr. Nyce instructed the kids on basic stances, punches, and kicks. The children all seemed to be enjoying themselves in this activity. After talking to my husband later that evening, we decided to sign our sons up for Tae Kwon Do lessons. One of the first things the kids are taught is the Student Creed:
"To build true confidence through knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart and strength in the body. To keep friendship with one another and to build a strong and happy community. Never fight to achieve selfish ends, but to develop might for right."
At the time these just seemed like pretty words that were repeated before each and every class. Seven years have now passed since that day my boys showed up for their first day of Tae Kwon Do instruction. My sons are now second degree black belts and they are employed by Mr. Nyce to instruct at The Black Belt Academy. Now I look back at those words in the Student Creed. The confidence they have gained came through the daily practice that led to mastering the curriculum at each belt level. They have had to perform at the graduation ceremonies which have given them the confidence to perform in front of an audience while maintaining their focus. They also know that they can defend themselves against anyone who may try to bully them at school. But the biggest boost in confidence came to my sons when they began to teach the other students. The first thing they learned was how hard it is to teach. With Mr. Nyce''s guidance, my sons learned to become effective and respected instructors at the school.
Strength in the body is another line in the Student Creed. We always hear on the news how sedentary today's children are. Tae Kwon Do is an excellent form of exercise! For children with allergies or asthma this is a perfect solution because they can get a good workout indoors with other kids while avoiding the pollen and other allergens.
To keep friendship with one another and to build a strong and happy community… First of all, my boys have stayed very close because of this shared activity and now shared job. They don't always agree on things, but they've learned to work well together. Second, my son's have made good friends with all the other students, instructors, and parents at the school. Groups of students often get together to see movies or play games at each others homes. On Fridays when the under belts sparring teams compete with each other, parents stay to watch and get to know the other parents. In fact, Mr. Nyce has a hard time getting everyone to leave after the sparring on Fridays. They all want to stay and socialize with one another. The instructors, parents, and students have become a close community.
Instructors have come and gone over the seven years we have been coming to The Black Belt Academy and the quality of instruction has always been outstanding! Mr. Nyce and Master Ehrlich give 100 percent of their attention to providing a quality school and put 100 percent effort into each and every class they teach."
Cheryl & Mike Conner Sr.