Athlete strives to move forward in karate

Senior earns his third degree in black belt


Emma Yarger

Senior Jack Dooley completes a form. Dooley tested for his third degree black belt Nov. 3.

Amaia Barajas

Senior Jack Dooley reflects on the lessons karate has taught him after 11 years of training and acquiring a third degree black belt.

“(Karate) taught me about self-discipline. It’s taught me about time management because it’s a lot of training,” Dooley said. “You have to manage doing school work around it and having a social life.”

According to Dooley, training for acquiring a black belt is something you have to work toward with years of training.

“There’s a bunch of other belts beneath (black belt) that you have to train for and that you have to go through. Once you get a black belt it’s a little different,” Dooley said.  “Each black belt is marked by a degree and to get from one degree to the next it’s an average of training two times a week for that many years. So to get from second to third degree you need two times a week for three years.”

Dooley said the training behind earning new belts is full of technical work that happens weekly.

“There’s a class schedule for every week. It’s an hour long and you just run through your kicks, your forms and depending on what day it is you might use weapons, you might spar,” Dooley said. “If you stay after you can work on a little more individual stuff.”

According to head instructor and owner of St. Louis Park’s American Karate Studio Sandra Overmiller, she started working with Dooley when he was a kid. Through that process she said she  has seen him grow as a karate student.

“He was very young and he was a white belt. And I’ve watched him grow into a strong, confident black belt, he just got his third degree,” Overmiller said.

Overmiller says Dooley has become a great mentor for other people who train at the American Karate Studio he goes to.

“(Dooley is) an amazing role model around here for younger students and adults, everybody, we all look up to him,” Overmiller said.