Ellen’s Journey to 1st Degree Black Belt

Master Helsdon: Alright, Ellen just earned her black belt. How does it feel?

Ellen: Amazing.

Master Helsdon: Good. When you first came into karate, what were you looking to gain?

Ellen: Well, it was a school fundraiser through my school, and I never thought about joining martial arts. But I was like, why not? It’s worth a try.

Mom: Try something new.

Ellen: Yeah.

Master Helsdon Excellent. And what did you wind up finding?

Ellen: Confidence and amazing family members, like a karate family.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. Mom, dad, what did you find that she’s gained along the way?

Mom: Commitment to something, strength—both physical and mental—and really honing in on leadership skills.

Dad: Her confidence has been amazing since starting karate. Just everything she does, we’re so proud.

Master Helsdon: Excellent. And what would you tell somebody that was struggling? Everyone struggles through the long journey to get there, but now you’re there. What would you tell someone?

Ellen: Keep going because the end result is amazing and it makes you feel really good.

Master Helsdon: Alright. Excellent. Thank you.



True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon. We offer specialized karate lessons for children and comprehensive fitness programs for adults, tailored to meet the unique needs of each age group.

Kids Karate Lessons

Our kids’ karate lessons are designed for:

  • Pre-school children ages 3-6
  • Elementary age kids ages 7 and up

These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Adult Martial Arts Training

Our adult martial arts training provides a complete fitness and conditioning program for those who want to:

  • Lose weight
  • Get and stay in shape
  • Learn self-defense in a supportive environment

About Master Sue Helsdon

Master Sue Helsdon is a certified instructor with the World Tang Soo Do Association and a certified judge. Her diverse training includes Tang Soo Do, Shotokan Karate, Kung Fu, and Qi Gong. With a background as a certified special education teacher and two master’s degrees in education, she brings extensive classroom experience to the training floor and our instructor’s education.

Master Sue is also the author of Inspired by a Black Belt; Lessons in Focus, Self-Confidence, Respect, and Self-Control. You can find her book on Amazon and visit her author page. She has written all the supplemental curriculum used in True Balance Karate’s advanced leadership training program and the comprehensive character program, True Character.

Contact Us

Our instructors are available to answer questions 24/7 at 630-912-0592. Visit us at: https://truebalancekarate.com/contact-us/  or stop by in person at 406 Ogden Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515 (next to CVS)

Check out our Facebook page to stay connected!

True Balance Karate proudly serves the communities of Downers Grove, Westmont, Oakbrook, Woodridge, and Lisle. Join us and experience the benefits of martial arts training in a supportive and empowering environment.