September 19, 2017 Becoming a Black Belt

Mario and Donna Spinelli

Hi Sensei,

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us on such a busy day. Franco was so excited when he received your letter about the Instructor Program and, well, after the meeting on there was no choice in the matter. He is passionate about wanting to become an instructor at CBK.

Given that Franco has always demonstrated dedication and commitment to what he does – school, karate (black belt), swimming (bronze medallion), hockey (goalie), piano and to his family and friends – we recognize he considers CBK as part of his foundation in helping his achieve his goals.

CBK is his home away from home, like a special club with a great environment of friendly staff and lots of opportunities to make new friends and help other students. When he was four and half years old we registered him at CBK, hoping it would help in his self confidence, communication skills and in making new friends. And the exercise factor and self-defence was always important, too.

Canada’s Best Karate far exceeded our expectations in how much it has helped Franco. He was never shy around family but when he started grade school he was different: quiet, shy, not too happy about going on stage at school. We knew we needed to get him enrolled in karate. CBK was our choice and we have never looked back since.

There were so many moments that Franco demonstrated his new found confidence that karate gave him, but the first one I hold so dear to my heart was the Grade One Talent Show when Franco performed his kata alone on stage in front of the whole school; even the teachers were in awe of how far he had progressed in his social and confidence skills! Given at the time we could only bring Franco once a week to karate, he managed to learn the long white belt kata and impressed the audience by his performance. We were asking ourselves “Is that really our son up there on the stage?”

By orange belt we were introduced to the Black Belt Club Program, which encouraged us to bring Franco more to karate at least three times a week. He loved setting goals and working towards those stripes and belts, never giving up. He trained until he succeeded with all the encouragement and support from the staff and students at CBK.

Franco gained so many valuable lessons in self defence and knowledge of how to handle a situation i.e. bullying. Yes, believe it or not there was a bully situation, a boy who picked on quite a few students, but Franco knew how to handle it and that situation went away quickly for him thanks to the skills taught at CBK.

We really appreciated the pep talks and extra help from the instructors when things got tough i.e. at blue belt and later on training for the black belt test and of course the physical conditioning test.

Oh, I will never forget his first run of six laps and the look on his face when his time was 18 minutes and his thoughts went to the student creed: “I will train ‘til I succeed” and we all watched as his time improved until we heard him say “Now I believe I can do it!!” We will always cherish that moment seeing our son truly believing in himself.

In June 2009 Franco received his junior black belt. We were proud parents that day and yes, there were some tears of joy shed. Franco slept in his new belt all night. He wouldn’t take that belt off after Sensei put it on him. That belt was worn with a lot of pride.

Franco would not be the confident, determined, respectful person and honour student he is today without karate at CBK. He so enjoys the classes and all the special events CBK puts on, from the tournaments, Halloween parties, movie days, bring a friend days and of course the famous CBK picnic at Boyd Park. You and your staff are all great sports and the students and their families love it. Great environment!!!!!

We have really enjoyed the journey Canada’s Best Karate has taken our son on and we look forward to Franco’s next commitment at CBK to becoming an instructor.

Thank you for giving our son this opportunity. We are confident it he will find it very rewarding and help him progress to his goals.

Yours sincerely

– Mario and Donna Spinelli, parents

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