When I was ten years old I was at the video store with my father. Unsure of what to rent, my father suggested Return of the Dragon starring Bruce Lee. After watching Bruce Lee in action I decided that I wanted to take karate lessons. I began to pester my parents to sign me up for karate and after trying the introductory lessons at a few of the different karate schools in town, my parents just didn't feel like I had found the right place to begin studying martial arts. I continued to persist about taking karate until they took me to World Champion Team Roufus. After visiting the school and talking with Mr. Roufus, my father and mother decided that we had found the place for me.
I was ten years old at the time and didn't understand why this place was any better than the other schools that we had visited. Eleven years later, I can now understand exactly why my parents decided to enroll me in karate lessons with Mr. Roufus instead of someplace else. My parents weren't all that concerned with karate; they were concerned with the other things that Mr. Roufus would teach me such as a winning attitude, self-discipline, goal setting, respect, hard work and self-confidence. Sure, I learned karate - I earned my black belt in July of 2000 - but the list of other things that I learned from Mr. Roufus were far more valuable than any kick or punch.
As I progressed at World Champion Team Roufus, I began to see the benefits of Mr. Roufus' tutelage in the classroom and on the basketball court. My work ethic and grades improved and despite starting to play basketball relatively late as an eighth grader, I was able to move from the bench to the starting lineup in under one year. Four years later, as a junior in high school, I found myself accepted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Captain of my high school basketball team.
I am currently in my third year of studies at UW-Madison and I am majoring in Economics. This coming semester I will be studying abroad in Mexico in order to improve my Spanish speaking skills and to take in the Mexican culture. Even though I am unable to train with Mr. Roufus, I am still involved with the martial arts through a club on campus.
While I can't discount the effect that my parents have had on my development, I am proud to say that learning from Mr. Roufus has definitely been one of the best things to happen to me and that I am a better person because of it.
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