I just finished sewing on my daughter’s gold JKO (Japan Karate-Do Organization) patch onto her gi (uniform). Jessica earned her Black Belt in Shito Ryu Karate today! She has been studying with Shihan Roberto Alvelais at Pacific Martial Arts for eleven years, since she was six. Our whole family is very proud!
Below are some photos from Jessica’s black belt test today. The 2 hour test included her demonstrating individual elements (stances, punches, blocks), entire series of elements (kata), and then sparring with another brown belt (kumite). Prior to today, Jessica had to take referee training, write an essay, and take a series of shorter tests. After the sparring, she answered questions about the history of karate and the Shito Ryu style. In some of the photos, you can see Rob and the other black belts in the Pacific Martial Arts dojo sitting in a line. Rob was the sole judge but the other black belts (some of whom come from other karate styles) came to lend Rob and Jessica their support and encouragement.
In a blog entry called “Sigma belts & Karate belts” from June 2005, I wrote about the similarities and differences between Six Sigma and karate. Jessica’s preparations and today’s big test strongly reminded me of what I went through for my own Sigma certification here at Sun.
After the test, Rob said a few proud words as Jessica’s teacher and presented her with the actual black belt which he had been wearing. Then, it was time for family pictures and a celebration lunch.
|Rob presenting Jessica with her black belt:
||Rob and Jessica:
||Jessica and her Grandparents:
|Jessica and her new gold JKO gi patch:
||Jessica and Grandpa Wade:
Images by John Plocher and Katy Dickinson (Copyright 2006)