The Art of Karate


Michael Yuschak, Guest Writer

   Most people set goals for themselves, but when they reach this goal earlier than expected, it will have more of a symbolic meaning to that individual. This is true about Mrs. Deana Patterson, LCN math teacher, who had earned her black belt in 2019.

   For this High School teacher, karate is a family affair. Patterson has been practicing  karate since 2014 and is still pursuing this art. Her husband and three children have been by her side since the beginning and have each earned their own black belt. This has created a bond for this family that will be cherished for a lifetime.

   Through the many years to receive their black belts, they have all committed to train in the art of karate. Patterson stated, “I have watched all of my kids and my husband progress with me through this journey, and I am very proud of them for their dedication and perseverance.” I had also stated that through the years I had watched their whole families strength, confidence, and dedication grow. 

   Achieving black belt is a very hard goal to be reached, but Patterson had set the goal in 2014 that she wanted to receive her black belt alongside her family by 2020. Five short years later, her entire family earned their black belt,a whole year before their goal. This was a huge honor for all of them to receive their belts together as a family.

   But the journey to black belt, came with many challenges: the feelings of doubt or of being unworthy. As Patterson states of herself five years ago, “When I first stepped onto the mats five years ago, I was very nervous and felt I was notoriously uncoordinated. I did not want to hold my family back if I was not able to perform the tasks asked of me”.

   After preserving Patterson learned early on that you are stronger than you feel you are and that you will always have more potential than you give yourself credit for. At her dojo (taijo) there were mirrors where they trained everyday, and she thought to herself that the thought of seeing herself in all of them brought a significant dread to her heart. She remembered, “One day I simply decided that my avoidance of those mirrors was an unnecessary weight crushing my potential.”

   Now, Patterson plans to continue her training and hopes to achieve the next level in black belt. The next belt for her to earn would be steps 2-6 of black belt. Patterson proves that you can achieve your goals years before you planned if your dedicated and willing to put in the work and time to achieve it.