On March 7th, Austin Kriegel, a 7th grader here at Wooster, earned his black belt. He started karate back in 2014, when he was only five years old. At only the age of 12, he has spent over half of his life doing karate.
For many years, he has been working hard to reach this point. Through this experience, students learn leadership, discipline, and determination. He has worked alongside his older sister, Alexandra, who earned her black belt in September 2019. For Austin, he was truly put to the test in all areas. In March 2020, his dojo went fully virtual due to COVID-19. Unable to continue his classes in person, he adapted and started training virtually. This takes an incredible amount of motivation and hard work, especially with everything going on.
A black belt is the highest of the colored belts, starting with white. The black symbolizes the darkness beyond the sun. This is given to those who have worked hard to gain a lot of skills; those who have shown that they would like to gain a deeper learning experience and understanding in these teachings. Karate is about both physical and mental strength, something that requires a lot of time and work.
After reaching this great achievement, Austin says "I am thankful to my parents and my sister for their support all of these years, but especially since last March. I really appreciate how much they have done for me. I am also grateful to the dojo for giving me an opportunity to continue training even through Covid-19."
Austin getting his black belt vs getting his yellow belt (the first belt earned)
Austin's sister Alexandra helps during his final black belt test