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Common app essay help (karate as a means to build my character)


imike 3 / 20  
Dec 22, 2008   #1
May i have any critics on my common app essay

Heart racing and adrenaline pumping through my body, I barely felt the blow to my head. I threw up my hands in defense, attempting to curtail his advances, but this proved to be fruitless as I felt his foot penetrate my abdomen and knock me back a few inches. I gasped for air and tried to regain my composure as I practically crawled away but it was too late. With my back to the floor and my eyes fixed onto the blinding light directly above me, I heard "Match is over, John Doe wins". The entire fight was a flash of swiftly maneuvered kicks and punches that seemed to jolt at me with tremendous force but it was the shame that hurt more than the actual physical blows. I was ashamed that I had lost again, not against the other fighter, but against myself. I found that ultimately, my greatest opponent was myself.

My mother first put me in karate as a means to help me build character and integrity in the absence of a father and in the midst of a bad neighborhood in the Bronx. The idea of learning and reenacting those highflying kicks and wood breaking punches I saw in karate movies excited me, so I gave it a try. Little did I know that those moves were a result of years of practice and I was quickly introduced to hard work and commitment.

During my first two years of karate, I wound up on my back at every practice. Losing was frustrating and because my forms and techniques did not come easy to me, I didn't devote much effort into any of my practices. As other students concentrated on fine-tuning their skills, I counted down the minutes left to practice. Sweat was poured in vain as each practice became a chore. Every practice that passed by further instilled the thought of quitting. But this began to trouble me dearly. This defeatist attitude was one exclusive to karate, for in all other facets of my life, I aspired to excel; quitting was never an option. I became disappointed and disgusted with myself and I knew I had to make a major change.

I signed up for the 2003 Shotokan Karate Tournament as my last chance to prove to myself that I could vanquish this adversary. The tournament was only months away, so I began to prepare immediately. Everyday I made sure I was the first student in and the last one out of the dojo. I would rushed home from school everyday to be able to complete my homework before practice began. Every evening, I could be found kicking, punching and blocking targets until I was too exhausted to continue. Sitting in at local tournaments, I tried to capture every moment, letting the environment sink in to be able to encompass the fervor of that place and make it my own. Hours of practicing my techniques and forms had resulted in notable progress. With a smirk worn on my face, I used this as motivation to train until my techniques became second nature. Weeks and months were fleeting as the day of the tournament arrived.

On the morning of the tournament, my eyes opened widely, tainted red from a mostly restless night. I could not suppress my excitement, my mind overwhelmed with anticipation. My anxiety had robbed me of sleep, but I would not let that get in the way of my success. I knew I had to focus. After a light breakfast, I gathered my equipment and ran out my door.

Upon arrival, I feverishly glanced around the giant room filled with spectators and competitors alike. The ambiance was exhilarating to say the least but as I stretched on the cold wooden floor, I kept my mind clear and focused. Hearing my name called over the loud speakers sent a surge of energy down my spine and throughout my body. I sprang up and made my way to the sparring circle to begin my first preliminary round. All my practice had come to fruition, and if I was ever going to prove myself, this was the moment to do it. It wasn't easy, as each round seemed to take forever but I trounced most of my opponents with unmatched confidence.

Holding that second place trophy in my hand was a testament to my change.
Swift kicks and quick punches won me the rounds, but it was my determination and perseverance that got me there. Winning was phenomenal yet what felt even better was my newly acquired sense of confidence that glistened in my eyes. I have faced many other challenges since the day of that tournament. At times I've won and other times I've lost but one thing I've never done was quit. I learned I should never fear failure and I should always expect triumph, as long as I know I put in my all, an ideology I apply to karate, my schooling and all my endeavors.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Dec 23, 2008   #2
With my heart racing and adrenaline pumping through my body, I barely felt the blow to my head.

I gasped for air and tried to regain my composure as I practically crawled away, but it was too late. With my back to the floor and my eyes fixed onto the blinding light directly above me, I heard the announcer end the match and declare my opponent as the winner.

I learned I should never fear failure and that I should always expect triumph, as long as I know I put in my all. This is an ideology I apply to karate, my schooling and all my endeavors.

GREAT!! The admissions people do not often get to read essays that start out with an action scene!!

You will do well!!

:)
OP imike 3 / 20  
Dec 23, 2008   #3
Thank you so much
That honestly makes me feel much better about all of this.
Im so stressed >_<
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Dec 24, 2008   #4
Nope, don't be stressed. If college, and the careers it prepares you for, are causing stress, it defeats the purpose of it all. Enjoy the intensity.


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