Nyasia Burrell

“Since the start of Covid, Karate has continued to provide balance in my life. Karate has offered me the discipline to remain positive in a sticky situation. Honestly not sure where I would be without it.

Photos by @senseieschwartz.
Nyasia Burrell

My first martial arts class was in the evening and there were various ranks. We were in line according to rank (the students’ ages ranged from teen to adult) and of course, I did not have a belt so I was at the end. It was initially a lot to take in, between the blocks/strikes/kicks; I realized that the dojo I stumbled across was no joke. You know that feeling you get when you are in a new environment (nervousness maybe), well that is how I felt. I could not do basic blocks correctly and sometimes I would lose my balance. Towards the middle of the class, I noticed each student was loud, strong and confident (male and female). Some of the black belts that were instructing the class were much younger than me. Yet, they were so mature and knowledgeable. After my first class, I realized I did not know my left from my right, but I enjoyed the sweat and the family bond they shared. Those nervous feelings went out the door. When I signed onto the program, I decided my new goal would be to become a first-degree black belt. When I began the program, my family was supportive. They were there for a promotion test and encouraged me every step of the way. My friends were surprised but knew I always wanted to be a martial artist. As I went up in rank, there were days I was not as confident especially if I was unprepared for a test. However, I had support from my Sensei and fellow classmates. I fell more in love when I became a brown belt (belt rank before black). Teaching other students and being a part of their journey inspired me to instruct women self-defence classes. At that point, I was able to speak with women/young girls. These defense seminars provided a different perspective. As females, we have the right to feel safe; we have the right to defend ourselves. One of the first lessons I learned at BSK is your voice is your weapon. 

Nyasia Burrell

My name is Nyasia Burrell; I am a second-degree black belt and a student at the Bushido School of Karate. I earned this degree in Kyokushin under the instruction of my Master Shihan S. Mehrkar in August of 2020. Overall, my journey began in 2013 at the age of 21. There were moments of doubts when I began training but ultimately I was able to grow into the martial artist I am today. At the time, I was in college and working two jobs. I was looking for an outlet and at a young age, I practiced and always admired the discipline that came with being a Karate student as well as the self-defense. When I started looking for a martial arts school, I stumbled across BSK and had the opportunity to meet my master. Upon meeting him, I was hesitant to start which was to do the current relationship I was in. I informed my master that my partner at the time was also interested in practicing and I would confer with him prior to starting their one-month trial. My master’s response was the following, “Well, why wait? Are you going to tell an attacker to hold on, I have to check with my boyfriend?” I chuckled at that moment and agreed with him. I thought to myself; why put something that I want to do on hold with a possibility that my boyfriend may not even want to do it. In retrospect, I am happy I did not wait, sometimes things do not work out the way you would expect it. Nonetheless, I signed up for the one-month trial, then onto the program.

Nyasia Burrell

Fast forward eight years later; I am a completely different person. My confidence has improved, I am dedicated to my health and I feel I am equipped with the tools to protect myself. In addition, it is a great way to relieve stress. I have always loved karate and wanted to be strong in my own right. Since the start of Covid, Karate has continued to provide balance in my life. Karate has offered me the discipline to remain positive in a sticky situation. Honestly not sure where I would be without it. As a female martial artist, I highly suggest every female pursue some sort of MMA. There are some key points you should keep in mind. 

–       Try a trial class first. 

–       Do not be afraid, if you are the only female in the class. Sometimes that happens but you are more than capable of handling anything that comes your way. 

–       Make sure you do your research prior to signing up to a program. 

–       Each dojo is different; not one dojo shares the same style of art. 

Ultimately, have fun! Thanks for reading.