Ezri’s Black Belt Journey

Master Helsdon: Alright, Ezri just completed her first-degree black belt. How does it feel?

Ezri: It feels really good. I’m really glad to have tested with this group and to have finally gotten my black belt.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. When you first started, what were you looking to gain?

Ezri: I don’t know if I was really looking to gain much of anything, but I started off actually in the seats, watching Ivan do his stuff.

Mom: And joining in on the fun that your brother was having?

Ezri: Yes, joining in on the fun my brother was having.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. And now that you’re there, what have you found?

Ezri: Some really amazing friends, and I don’t know if I could pinpoint a lot of the life skills right now, but I know that I’ve learned quite a few.

Master Helsdon: Excellent. Mom, dad, what would you say about what we found?

Mom: I think that sticking with it, like there were times when she was like, “I don’t want to go to karate class,” but she wanted her black belt, so she kept going and working towards her goal. That’s awesome.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. Dad, what about you?

Dad: Yeah, just the commitment to picking something and going for it and continuing with it has been great to see.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. Alright, and what would you tell somebody that was struggling to get through to the other side?

Ezri: Talk to people, get help from other people. I know a lot of my training has been helped by my family, both my family here and also the karate family.

Ezri: Some of my dedication did come from testing with my group. Find a friend, commit to getting there with them.

Master Helsdon: Absolutely. Well said. Congrats.



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.