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Black belt fulfills dream

For the past twelve years, junior Richard Garcia devoted his time and energy to the practice of martial arts in hopes of receiving a black belt. Garcia earned his belt after breaking three boards, sparring for forty-five minutes, performing three katas (forms) and demonstrating his knowledge in self-defense on Dec. 22.

“I was really excited I had finally accomplished my goal after years of hard work,” Garcia said. “It was very rewarding and I was satisfied with my performance.”

Garcia spends four hours per week training American Freestyle Karate at the Pacific Martial Arts studio. He contributes his success to the support of his family and instructor.

“I am thankful for my parents and sensei (Matt Smith) for giving me the strength and encouragement to continue with my training in the martial arts,” Garcia said. “This sport has become a part of me and now that I have accomplished my goal of getting a black belt. I feel that it has made me more complete as a person.”

Now that Garcia has earned his black belt, he plans to study and train in other forms of the martial arts.

“I am planning on getting into Judo competitions and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,” Garcia said. “Just because I got my black belt doesn?t mean I am finished yet. I plan on participating in karate as long as my body can keep up.”

Garcia started karate because of his interest in the sport as a child, but learned valuable lessons over the years that helped develop his character.

“I have learned that I shouldn’t be so concerned about myself,” Garcia said. “I should be more concerned about the needs of others because that is more rewarding in life.”

When Garcia is asked about the abilities and skills he now possesses as a trained black belt, he remains humble and quotes a line from Sempei Billy Ramos.

“The only thing that separates me from everybody else is being able to defend myself and look good doing it,” Ramos said.

Although any form of martial arts takes perseverance with countless hours of practice, Garcia recommends the sport to anyone who desires to learn self-defense and boost their confidence.

“Although there is no specific reason why anyone should participate in martial arts,” Garcia said. “I highly recommend it if they want to learn more about themselves as well as practicing self defense.”

Pacific Martial Arts offers a variety of classes such as Aikido, American Freestyle Karate, Boxing, Kung-Fu, Taekwondo and more.

“I love karate and I wish I had to time to commit,” Kally Batesole, ’09, said, “because it utilizes the mind, body and spirit.”

For more information call Pacific Martial Arts at (559) 436-4611 or visit them at 3070 W. Bullard, in Fresno.

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    David CasugaSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Wow I am like really short. Especially in this picture. :'(

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    Scott JenningsSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Andrew Rurik and Mr. Stobbe’s hair look very beautiful in this picture.