/ Linda Vogel
Although I took my first martial arts class while I was a freshman in college, my real introduction to martial arts was not until years later when my 2 1/2 year old son came to Team Karate Centers for a birthday party and subsequently began taking lessons. Hes 20 now, so weve een coming to TKC for over 18 years. My own training began shortly after his sometimes around the end of 2000 or 2001.
Working my way toward black belt, I enjoyed it all. There is so much to learn and experience from class to class, that its difficult to pick one area of training I prefer. I guess you could say my favorite area is whatever I am doing at that particular moment, whether it be grappling, forms, kickboxing, weapons, anything.
The closer I got to black belt, the more I appreciated the chance to accomplish many firsts in my life that without TKC I otherwise never would have attempted, such as the first time I climbed the rope and the first time I went rock climbing. Finally, the first time I walked down the candle light ceremony was the day I earned my black belt in October 2004.
Around the time I tested for black belt, as my training progressed, my interest in instructing grew. In 2003 I started assisting TKC classes, and in 2004 I began teaching a martial arts based enrichment program for a local school. As a grand achievement, after earning my second degree black belt in 2007, I started Little Ninjas Karate.
Opening Little Ninjas seemed like a natural progression. Working as an instructor while cultivating my appreciation for the martial arts, plus my love for children and a desire to give back inspired me to take that life changing step. In a way, I grew along with the students that I taught. I continued my own training to reach a personal milestone of earning my third degree black belt in 2009. Neither Little Ninjas or testing would have been a reality without Sensei Fariborz. It was his suggestion that I start LNK that began it all.
Eight years after Little Ninjas welcomed its first students, I still look forward to teaching every single day. I love to watch my students learn and grow. I love that every day I have the chance to learn something new by watching them and teaching them. And I love that God has blessed me with the opportunity to give back in such a meaningful way.
Ive been fortunate enough to have some great heroes to influence me throughout my life, including God, my husband, my children, Sensei Fariborz, Sensei Benny, and the children I teach. Each of these heroes has helped me to learn important life lessons while overcoming the challenges I face.
From training at TKC, I learned to always show up no matter what.
I learned that no goal is too colossal to accomplish so long as I can break it down into manageable pieces.
I learned to think outside the box.
I learned I always have a choice, maybe not in what happens but how I react to it.
Most importantly, I learned to never stop learning.
For the past several years, I have done some very heavy reflection while confronting some very personal challenges. As a consequence, I had to step back from my physical presence on the mat at TKC. But I never forget that every day is a training day, and that training is not always necessarily physical. The true essence of black belt follows me wherever I go. My training, in every regard, instilled within me the ability to make major life decisions and stand by them proudly.
What does black belt mean to me? Black belt to me means a way of life. It means I have the necessary tools to fall asleep each night with no regrets, and to wake up each morning looking forward to a new beginning and the opportunity to be a humble servant. When I first started martial arts, I saw it through a purely martial lens. It was all about the kicking and punching. In fact, I even looked forward to the bruises, cuts, and black eyes from time to time. But experience has taught me that physical fighting is not the ultimatum. Today, I train with the intent of living a more humble and serene life.
/ Comments ...
/ what people say about Linda
|Sensei Linda is an inspiration to me because she is a woman Sensei. She is one of the few women Sensei in our studio. Its an inspiration to see how she teaches very little children and change their lives. I believe that it is much more of a challenge to teach little children Martial Arts and at the same time to sow the seeds of discipline and respect.|
|Sensei Linda has known me for eight years and has been nice for those years. She has been helpful to my family too. She takes care of my brother while I do class and hangs out with my mom. She is good role model for men women because she proves that you can enjoy your courier and do something that you enjoy highly for living.|
|Miss Linda is my TKC hero because she was my first karate teacher and she made sure I had fun doing karate! Miss Linda helped me get my Little Ninjas black belt and inspired me to continue and take Mr Ashs classes. I love Miss Linda because she always has a smile on her face and is willing to help anyone. She was also my two older sisters success coach last year. She made them work really hard and pushed them to become great black belts. Miss Linda is great at what she does because she is amazing with kids and has lots of patience. She is very dedicated to helping kids learn all about martial arts!|
|Mrs. Linda is my inspiration because she is a proud woman, and a third degree black belt. She juggled the demands of motherhood and her training, and excelled at both. She is proof that women can excel at martial arts and that this art is not just for men. She may not seem very intimidating at first because she is always so nice and loving, and her character is very humble. However, she holds a quiet power and the confidence that she could handle any confrontation. Whenever I see her, I bow with tremendous respect to my first ever martial arts teacher.|
|Sensei Linda is also one of my TKC Heroes. I use to SWAT Little Ninjas with Sensei Linda and she has helped me so much with general everyday things and also how to become a better instructor. I was with Sensei Linda for over a year and i do miss it very much. I loved working with the little kids at Little Ninjas and now I do birthday parties with them and i enjoy it very much. She is one of the kindest person I have ever met. I think Sensei Linda has done an amazing job with Little Ninjas. It has become a great program for little children to do karate at. I do not think any other person could have had done a better job. Thank you Sensei Linda for helping me become a better instructor, helping me with everyday things and letting me SWAT your classes.|
|Sensei Linda is one of the most magnificent women I will ever have the chance to know. She is so patient, enthusiastic, kind, loving, and understanding. She has done so much with Little Ninjas Karate. I cannot imagine it without her. I am honored to be teaching by her side. I have learned so much from her. We have worked together to support the Stop Bullying Now program. Spending time with Sensei Linda has shown me what a wonderful martial artist, teacher, and overall person she is.|
|I have known Mrs. Linda for many years, actually since I was 4. She is an inspirational person to me because I can see how she works with the little kids in karate. She uses so much patience and creativity that you can see that all the little kids love her. She gave me the opportunity to teach in her mat and I am very grateful for that.|
|Another instructor that I find very inspirational is Sensei Linda. She has been a powerful and phenomenal woman I have looked up to for many years at TKC. I see Linda as a protector, teacher, guide, and a source of strength. A woman that strong must have fought and WON many battles and I truly respect and look up to her. Although I have not shared this with her directly I always have thought that her presence in the studio brought me a sense of calm. Shes loving and firm, honest, passionate, and a great role model of strength, confidence, and resiliency for women. I mention resiliency because I dont know first hand what battles she has gone through but everyone has a story. The way in which she carries herself and interacts with others is beautiful.|
|Sensei Linda, the Little Ninja Karate head, is a hero of mine due to her teachings and wisdom. Sensei Linda has taught me how to teach to a younger generation and how to keep a positive mood. She lets me take a handful of kids to teach every day. She serves as an inspiration to me because I have never seen someone teach the way she does. It is just so unique. I have the upmost respect for this woman. She continues to find a way to keep me laughing and to get me to do things that will get the things I don not need to think about our the door. She changes my mood completely. When I see those kids line up just waiting to be taught something new, I get excited and ca not wait to figure out what to teach them. Sensei Linda is a very complex woman and is also one of the wisest I know and will probably ever meet in my life.|
|Sensei Linda is one of my TKC Heroes because she has always believed in me, encouraged me to keep making progress in a very positive way, and offered me the great opportunity to teach in her Little Ninja program which has helped me grow in maturity, responsibility, mindfulness of others. Teaching in LNK has also helped me overcome my shyness which has often gotten in the way of my progress in the past. Because of her I am making progress with skills in a much faster pace.|
|My first TKC hero is Sensei Linda. She was my first instructor at TKC when I came in as a white belt in little ninjas and has supported me all the way to my 1st and now 2nd degree black belt. She was a great teacher to me and pushed me to work hard in every aspect of life.|