Fifth Graders Inspired by 7th Degree Black Belt
A karate teacher who earned a 7th degree black belt with only one leg inspired 5th graders on Feb. 8 as he shared lessons about respect, mindfulness, and confidence.
William Carpenter explained to students that he lost his leg during a farming accident when he was 13-years-old. The injury didn't deter him as he went on to play baseball and wrestled in high school.
During a visit to Japan as an exchange student a man asked him if he wanted to be able to use his prosthetic leg better. Mr. Carpenter was then introduced to karate, which he has now studied for 48 years and teaches in Albany.
"When I compete, I compete on one leg. Because I'm faster," Mr. Carpenter told students. "If I can do it, you can do it. It's just a matter of trying."
Mr. Carpenter taught students Jufu, or gentle wind, breathing which helps relax and focus concentration. He also discussed the importance of respect and confidence.
"Karate is about respect. Respect for yourself. Respect for others," said Mr. Carpenter. "You can't give respect to others if you don't respect yourself."
As Mr. Carpenter led students through some basic moves of the Washini-ryu style of karate, he taught them how the deep breathing can help them relax and focus better.
"I can concentrate," students repeated after Mr. Carpenter. "I have respect for myself. I have respect for my parents, teachers and others."