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  • Writer's pictureRowena Lee

From Tiger Team to Black Belt

Recently one of our students, Daphne Haury-Pua received her black belt at the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy Spring Black Belt Test. She was asked to represent One Tribe Martial Arts Academy and say a few words about her journey to her black belt. In her speech she thanks everyone from Grand Master Wong to her Instructors and even fellow students who helped her along the way. We thought her speech was so encouraging and uplifting, that we decided to spotlight it here and at all the Tat Wong affiliate schools.

Thank you Daphne for being an example to all of us. Your confidence, warm spirit and 'can-do' attitude are things we foster at One Tribe. It has been amazing to watch you grow from a tiger (age 5), and we are excited to see many things you will accomplish as Kung Fu martial artist.

Good Evening,

Thank you Grand Master Wong for this incredible opportunity.

My name is Daphne and I study Kung Fu at One Tribe Martial Arts Academy in Concord under Sifu Mike Lee. My journey in Kung Fu began way back in 2014, the Giants were 3 months away from winning their 3rd World Series Title, Guardians of the Galaxy was #1 in the box office and I was preparing to start Kindergarten.

After stopping for ice cream one afternoon, I stood outside the Tat Wong Kung Fu academy with my parents while they talked about possibly enrolling me. Sihing, now Sifu Luke approached us and after only a few minutes I was signed up for my introductory class. I started as a shy and unsure Tiger and I am so proud to stand in front of you today representing my school.

These past 4 and a ½ years have been an amazing experience filled with laughter and tears. I’ve learned so much more than just forms and weapons. I’ve learned determination, respect, self-confidence, and strength of body and mind. I’ve forged friendships through shared struggles of learning new techniques and preparing for tournaments and parades. I’m happy to share this experience today with my fellow classmate and friend Austin who has helped encourage me and I am missing Sophie who was unable to be here due to an injury.

As you may have noticed I don’t have hair and it’s not a bold fashion choice. I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata 2 years ago and I truly believe that without Kung Fu and my One Tribe family I would not have the confidence that I have today. In the beginning when others looked down on me I feel so grateful that my instructors and fellow students treated me with the same respect and kindness as always, after all, I’m still just Daphne.

As I stand here a new black belt I look back on my time and feel grateful

Thank you Grand Master Wong for sharing your wisdom and experience with the Masters and Sifu’s who have helped guide me. I will always strive to represent your legacy of Choy Lay Fut with dignity and strength.

To Sifu Mike and Rowena, thank you for embracing me in to the One Tribe family, for pushing me to live up to my potential.

Thank you Master Barbosa for always expecting me to do my best, and always practice as if I’m in competition you’ve made my forms sharper and stronger.

Thank you to Sifu Luke and all my past and present Sihings and Sijehs who continue to teach me that Kung Fu is empowering and fun.

And lastly thank you to my family especially my parents, arranging your schedules to get me classes making time for tournaments and for always believing in me and never letting me give up on myself when things got too hard.

Congratulations to everyone here, our hard work has been worth it all.

-Daphne Haury-Pua

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