Carissa K - Junior Blackbelt

BB - Carissa Kemp

When I was in grade three, my fellow classmate, Tasha P, gave me two free Kenpo class passes. My Mum was very reluctant about the idea of me doing karate and said I couldn’t go. However it was my Dad who was interested and took me to the first session. After being blown away by the way Sensei taught; both Dad and I convinced Mum to come along to the second class. She was so impressed she signed me up immediately.

I used to have this mentality when I was little that karate was all about fighting and the physical aspect. Before I signed up to Karate I was doing dancing full time, so Karate seemed like a whole different world to what I was used to. After attending my first class, I enjoyed all the activities so much that I wanted to go to the next class, and the one after.

I quickly learned that Kenpo has many different characteristics involved which, over time, shaped me into the person I am today. I learned that Kenpo welcomes all kind of people; male, female, young, old and doesn’t discriminate. I quickly formed friendships with others in the class, and am in fact best friends with some of the girls to this day; all thanks to Kenpo. Sensei made such a home like environment that we all treated each other like family. Kenpo really was my home away from home.

The values and life skills I learned through Kenpo are truly priceless. I learned the significance of hard work, and that you get out what you put in. Goal setting was also a huge lesson taught to me which I never really understood until I joined Kenpo. I knew from my first Kenpo class that I wanted to be a Black Belt. With the help of Sensei and my family, I trained harder, and practised more often which resulted in me achieving my goal.

I have developed as a person so much thanks to Kenpo, and couldn’t imagine who I would be without it. I would not have been successful in achieving a Black Belt without the support of my family who stood by me every step of the way. I suggest that everyone in the family signs up to learn, as this makes it easier to train and everyone can assist each other. After my family saw the huge improvements in my confidence and my passion for Kenpo, they all joined classes.

My Mum and Dad both started the adult curriculum and Mum got her Black Belt in Women’s Tactical Defence in 2011. My two younger brothers also started at the age of five and the oldest is grading for his Junior Black Belt this year. As I had been training the longest, I was someone who my younger brothers looked up to because they also wanted their Black Belts. After being put in this position, it taught me how to be humble and share my knowledge with others.

I am about to embark on my final year of school, and I am privileged to be School Captain. I whole-heartedly believe that the values and life lessons Kenpo taught me have given me the ability to lead and inspire my school towards great things. I wish to graduate Year 12 with academic success, and continue my studies at University with a degree in Media and Communications.