Johnson City, TN
EMMA : “ I was sick a lot as a kid with asthma and allergies. I was in and out of the hospital. I tried to do the sports thing, not real well, but it’s something kids do. I have exercise induced asthma and exercise for me means walking across the street. Well, one day I was out with my mom trying to get trophy for my coach and we stopped at a coffee shop. Next to the shop was a karate studio. I didn’t even know the concept of God before this time in my life but I learned fairly quick. She signed me up for classes and at the beginning of my first class I immediately started show symptoms of asthma and couldn’t breathe. My instructor leaned in really close into my ear the second class and said to me and whispered, “If you don’t get control of this thing- it’s going to kill you.” I believed him. I also believed that it was promise, that he would help me. I haven’t had and actual attack, and actual attack, since that time. I really threw myself into karate. I walked away from the idea that I was small, weak, and asthmatic. I knew I could be good. I did it from the ages seven until my early twenties. I have worked with lots of people through it. I’ve helped train police officers and anyone who needed help.
I hopped from school to school at one point. I went up to a young girl at one school and I was a black belt so I could do whatever I wanted. I found out this girl was blind and nobody considered it safe for her to fight. I asked her, “Do you want to fight?” She said yes, and I taught her to fight well. I gained so much confidence from karate and I wanted to help her have that too.
That confidence still lives inside of me. I don’t feel vulnerable, really. It’s a condition I do experience because of who I am but in my being, I don’t feel vulnerable. ”