WEEK #47: REGHAN D.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Reghan. I am 14 years old and love karate. I am in 9th grade at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute. I was introduced to karate when I was 5 years old, by my neighbour and immediately fell in love with it! At first I was super shy and hated being called on during class but karate has definitely improved my self-esteem as well as my confidence.
I train at Desantos Premier Martial Arts and love it there. The first years of doing karate, I was just doing it for fun. I didn’t really have an end goal or something I was working towards. After I got my brown belt, I realized that black belt was what I really wanted and it became the ultimate goal. I received my 1st-degree black belt a few weeks after I turned 12. After blackbelt, I wanted to start doing karate competitively. I entered my first tournament in May of 2019 and I lost pretty badly. All the other girls in my division had a lot of experience and were better. I finished last in one division and 3rd in my second division. I was pretty upset and disappointed with myself but that only made me want to work harder. I trained harder and attended my second tournament where I placed 1st in both divisions. I train about 9-14 hours weekly on my own and at the dojang every day except Sundays. My goal was to compete in the WAKO Junior World Championships.
Then COVID-19 hit and everything shut down. I was devastated. I had lost my motivation to keep up with my training. I hated the online classes and my house wasn’t big enough to practice all of my tricks. I had to rethink what my goals were. My 2nd degree blackbelt and qualifying for the WAKO Junior World Championships is what I really want. So I train super hard now learning many new weapon tricks as well as my aerials and back handsprings.
Karate has made me so much more confident with myself. I have learned lots of things physically but also mentally. I’ve learned how to have a good mindset as well as being mentally tough. I also learned lots about giving back. People have really inspired and helped me get to where I am and I look forward to being able to do that for others. I like to volunteer as well as donate money to charities such as the Desantos foundation.
What inspired you to participate in Sport?
I am a very active person and I love to try new things. When I was younger I didn’t really have any inspiration but now that I am older, I aspire to be as good as Mackensi Emory. Mackensi Emory is a World Champion and she is a pro tricker. I also aspire to be a leader one day to spread my knowledge of karate to others.