What comes to mind when I say karate? Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, breaking boards with your bare hand? That's what most people think. I know people who can probably break boards. They might not be as fast as Jackie Chan but they are definitely close.
I take Shotokan karate at the Hag-erstown Shotokan Karate Club ? part of the International Shotokan Karate Federation ? through the Washington County Recreational Department.
I began karate when I was in fifth grade. I became interested after watching karate movies with my dad. I wanted to be like the stars. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan ? they could kill a guy with one punch. They were good guys who always won.
It wasn't until after I spent years begging my parents for a class that I realized there was more to kicking and hitting people than I thought. At the dojo, I learned how to defend myself, but I also learned self-discipline, confidence and certain other values I think are very important. At the end of each class, we say, in Japanese, "Seek perfection of character, refrain from violent behavior, be faithful, endeavor, respect others." I have grown to understand these values, and I try to use them in my life.