Officially an Ikkyu

Friday night, I was officially awarded the rank of Ikkyu, or first-degree brown belt, in Shuri-ryu karate at the Academy of Okinawan Karate.

Shihan and I

The director of the school, Shihan Joseph Walker, and myself

The black stripe down the center of the belt signifies the next step is Shodan, or black belt. This means I’m done testing for rank for a while, and it’s up to me to keep going to class, refining my technique, and helping other students until the big test comes.

Ten years ago, I never would have imagined I’d come this far. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since I was 19. (Yeah, I still cringe when I see pictures of myself in a gi or running kata, but I’m working on that, too.) I’m very fortunate to have found a school of this caliber so close to home, one that offers equal measures of instruction and inspiration.

Now I’m going to go cut that obnoxious white label off my snazzy new belt.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

No comments

  1. Noah L says:

    Very awesome, and congratulations!

  2. Kent says:

    Congrats, man! Well done.

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks, guys!

  4. Gary says:

    Good job on getting a 1st kyu brown belt or ikkyu. I tested last night for my 2nd kyu brown belt test in Goju Kempo style. I’m now waiting for the next class to hopefully find out how I did. Oh. I was so nervous. I’m going to the Archon 34 convention and I saw that you were listed as one of the guests. Maybe I’ll see you there.