Dojo:   Old Bethpage   Yin yang dojo b   Mt. Kisco

Meet Your Fellow Karateka - Michael Begley

by Nancy Beckerman

Michael, you have been a student at the dojo now for so long and have been so successful; you are an inspiration not only to the kids there, but to the adults as well! You're a senior in high school, so will be leaving the area next fall, and hopefully we can learn something from your answers to these questions!

1. How old were you when you started coming to the dojo, and what got you interested in studying karate in the first place?

I started karate when I was 6. I became interested in karate and asked my parents for karate lessons after watching my older cousin practicing karate. My parents thought it was a good idea because it would help me focus in school.

2. How did you decide on the Takahashi school?

My parents liked the Takahashi Dojo because it focused on teaching karate rather than winning trophies and tournaments. I remember my first day at the dojo and how Sensei made me feel welcomed to the school.

3. How has the study and practice of karate influenced the rest of your life? Your schoolwork? Your confidence?

Karate has helped me develop a greater sense of focus and confidence in everything I do, but most importantly it has made me a very humble person. Most people don't even know that I'm a 4th degree black belt. I attribute the success that I've had in school and my development of time management to the focus and discipline that I've learned from karate.

4. What part or parts of karate are your favorites? Least favorite?

My favorite part of karate is kata. I enjoy practicing kata because although it only takes a few weeks to learn the movements of a new kata, you spend a long period of time perfecting that kata. I feel a great sense of accomplishment once I perfect a kata. There is really nothing about karate that I don't like.

5. How has your practice of karate changed as you have gotten older?

As I've gotten older I've become more focused and disciplined which has resulted in my practices becoming more serious.

6. What advice would you give to someone (a friend or relative) who was considering learning about karate?

The advice I would give to anyone interested in karate is that if you want to do it right, karate is a long-term commitment that involves a lot of hard work and practice, but it is something that you will have all your life. I'd also tell them not to be intimidated by practicing or working with someone at a higher rank because the view in the dojo is that everyone is here to learn together.

7. Would you recommend the study/practice of karate to other kids? Girls as well as boys?

Yes because I believe that the development of focus and disciple skills that you learn in karate will help them in school, other sports, and anything else that they do in life.