WLAA Advertorial: More students earn black belts at Keith Hafner’s Karate

 

Keith Hafner’s Karate graduated nine more black belts during a special ceremony last month at the popular martial arts school in downtown Ann Arbor.

It takes four years to earn a black belt at Keith Hafner’s Karate and is an impressive accomplishment and a stepping stone to even bigger things for many students. Hafner says his school has graduated about 2,200 black belts since they opened in the mid-1970s.

WeloveAnnArbor presents a special look at eight of the students who earned their black belts last month.

Raquel Burns

Age: 14 (second degree Black Belt recipient)
Parents: Mike & Renee Burns
School: Pioneer High School (ninth grade in the fall)
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? Raquel started at KHK when she was in first grade.
How did you get interested in karate? Raquel first saw karate and martial arts on TV and was interested in learning more. We had seen KHK downtown and overheard great things about the school so we took her there to see if it was a good fit. Raquel was very impressed with the school.
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? Raquel loved the family, community and friendly atmosphere of the school. It taught her to stand up for herself, confidence and the ability to solve problems. She could defend herself but never had to use physical force. She gained the ability to speak or perform in front of large groups of people with ease.
What was it like to earn your black belt? Raquel was extremely proud to receive her second degree Black Belt. Her hard work and dedication to the martial arts for over six years came to a culmination and she was ecstatic to wear the belt that represented a life goal of hers.
What is next for you in karate? As part of the high school experience, Raquel has decided to join the Pioneer High School crew team and to discontinue her martial arts training to focus on rowing. She hopes to utilize all of the skills and self confidence that she has gained at Keith Hafner’s Karate to become an active participant and leader of the crew team. She will miss the school and all of her karate family.

Calvin Anderson

Age: 12
Parents: Greg & Terry Anderson
School: Eighth grade
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? June 2015
How did you get interested in karate? Seeing the Karate Kid remake.
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “It has taught me how to defend myself, and I like how nice the teachers are because Master Terry is awesome.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “It felt the same as normal.”
What is next for you in karate? “Taking a break and concentrating on competitive swimming.”

Laura Forsyth

Age:
8
Parents: Ian & Jessica Forsyth
Grade: Just finished second grade
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? At age 4
How did you get interested in karate? “Watching (sisters) Sarah and Rachel do it.”
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “I like that it helps me defend myself and it has taught me to believe in myself.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “Grrrreat! Because it has taught me a lot like when I fall over how not to break my wrist and I’m glad that I got my black belt.”
What is next for you in karate? “Try to get my grown up black belt.”

Noah Anderson

Age: 10
Parents: Kyle & Jessica Anderson
School: Entering fifth grade at Burns Park Elementary, Ann Arbor
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? “I started at KHK the summer before first grade in 2015.”
How did you get interested in karate? “My older cousin was doing kung fu at the time and I was very interested in trying out martial arts.”
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “Karate has taught me self-discipline, focus, persistence, and many more things leading to a happy life.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “I felt proud of myself for earning my black belt because I finally accomplished a long-term goal I set for myself when I was 6 years old. I thought back to the first kick to earn my white belt, all the way to me dripping sweat during my final test.”
What is next for you in karate? “I want to keep training and earn a second degree black belt, and continue making new friends at KHK!”

Amani Dworkin 

Age: 12
Parents: Aaron & Afa Dworkin
School/grade: A2STEAM, finished 6th grade
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? 3.5 years ago
How did you get interested in karate? “Learning about it from a close family friend from Colorado.”
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “Discipline, care, kindness, politeness, hard work. I feel like I have learned a lot and I am proud of everything the school has taught me. It was not easy, especially, the black belt camp, but I was glad I pushed through.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “Difficult because of so many schedules to combine and lots of rides to coordinate. I also play piano and soccer.  The camp is a lot of hard work, as well, but the teachers are really supportive and wonderful.  It was great to use special gear and break boards.”
What is next for you in karate? “Continuing to study and grow. I hope to get to my adult black belt in a few years.”

Abby Peters

Age: 8
Parents: Greg & Elizabeth Peters
Grade: Starting third grade in the fall
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? Four years ago
How did you get interested in karate? “Watching my sister do karate and feeling like I was being left out.”
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “I like the confidence it gives you. No one ever boos you or makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s taught me how to be intense and strong. It’s taught me how to control my own actions.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “It was exciting, but hard. Actually getting my belt almost felt like a surprise. I couldn’t believe that the day had finally
gotten here.”
What is next for you in karate? “I’m going to earn my second degree.”

Michael Adams

Age: 35
Mom: Liz Marabeas
Occupation: I work at the Blue Plate Diner in Livonia
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? August 2015
How did you get interested in karate? “When I was a kid I watched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and liked movies that had martial arts such as The Karate Kid, 3 Ninjas, and The Forbidden Kingdom. And I really liked watching Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan do martial arts! For a long time I practiced some of the movements on my own and imagined being a martial artist.”
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “I like that it’s a challenge, and it has taught me discipline and self-control.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “It was amazing and exciting! I started as a white belt and my teachers taught and encouraged me as I focused on my goal of earning a black belt.”
What is next for you in karate? “I’m going to work towards a 2nd Degree Black Belt.”

Walter Groening

Age: 11
Parents: Terrance & Carol Groening
School/grade: Going into 6th grade at Emerson School
When did you start at Keith Hafner’s Karate? “When I was in second grade, just before my eighth birthday.”
How did you get interested in karate? “My brother Jonas went to karate, and I was always watching his classes.”
What do you like about it and what has it taught you? “I like that it has many different aspects, such as self-defense and forms.”
What was it like to earn your black belt? “I was really happy and surprised that I made it to that moment.”
What is next for you in karate? “I don’t know yet.”

For more on Keith Hafner’s Karate:
Address214 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone(734) 994-0333
WEB SITE 

Written By
More from Terry Jacoby

Profile: Huron diver Annie Costello is already an All-American and record-holder – as a sophomore

 A record that has been on display in the Ratatorium at Huron...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *