Empire Dojo



The last few weeks around here have been filled with nerves and excitement as our students have been pre-testing for their next belt rank. 

This was my second experience with belt testing as a Mom. However, it was my first time in my new role as the Social Media Manager for the dojo, and as a fellow tester. (I’m in our Krav Maga program). Wearing those two additional hats this time around, gave me a whole new perspective.

As a tester I finally understood first hand what the belt testing experience is like. The stress of making sure I knew my material, the nervousness of having to “perform” in front of a crowd, and the excitement of being rewarded with a new belt color that shows everyone how hard I’ve been working. It was challenging, but worth it. 

Even though the martial arts journey is an individual journey (not a team sport kind of thing) you’re not truly alone. Your classmates are there with you every step of the way. You may be working towards different belt levels but you’re all in it together and that is an awesome feeling. 

One of my roles being the Social Media Manager is making sure to capture content (pics and videos) from each of our classes multiple times a week. I spend a lot of time not only watching the classes in person but reviewing all the content I get each day when I’m back at home. 

In the couple weeks leading up to the belt graduation, I saw the focus and determination on the faces of many. I watched the build up of nerves turn into sighs of relief. I was even lucky enough to witness the pure joy of knowing they had done their best. 

I found myself encouraging our students over those couple weeks. When someone was extra nervous I would tell them “I’ve seen you in class and you have been doing very well. I know you’re going to do great on your pre-test. You got this!” 

I held my breath during some pre-tests when I could see someone struggling to remember something, and I willed them to remember it from the sidelines.  I handed out high-fives like candy when they passed their pre-test and congratulated everyone I spoke to on graduation day. 

Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, or maybe it’s because I now have the privilege of watching our students more than I did previously, but I very much enjoyed being their cheerleader and watching them succeed from the sidelines with my camera.   

Our students are focused on learning and improving their ninja skills. I am focused on the bigger picture.