Liams Black Belt Journey



Master Helsdon: Alright, Liam, you just earned your first-degree black belt today. How does it feel?
Liam: Good, good.
Master Helsdon: Excellent. Now, everybody has their own journey. What were you looking for when you started karate?
Liam: Something fun to do. I like sports.
Master Helsdon: Like your brother, Jack, who was already doing it?
Liam: Yeah.
Master Helsdon: Mom, dad, what were you looking for him to gain?
Mom: Something to motivate him, something different he could try since he loves sports.
Master Helsdon: And what have you found along the way now that you’re a black belt? What do you think you’ve gained or are proud of?
Liam: Confidence and self-control.
Master Helsdon: Mom and dad, what would you say?
Dad: I feel like Liam has developed a lot, even though he started during the pandemic and missed some of the early in-person experiences. It brought him out of his shell, made him less shy, and now he enjoys helping others.
Master Helsdon: Excellent. Now, you’ve made it through and you’re proud of your accomplishment. It’s a long-term goal, and everyone wants to stop at some point. What would you tell someone who wanted to stop, based on your own experience?
Liam: Just persevere and try your best. Don’t quit.
Master Helsdon: And get a buddy to keep pushing you, right?
Liam: Right.
Master Helsdon: Anything to say about your brother, Jack?
Jack: Even though he sometimes yells at me, he still learns from me, and it’s fun.
Master Helsdon: Excellent. Awesome. Thanks, guys.


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 630-663-2000. Visit us at: https://truebalancekarate.com/contact-us/  or stop by in person at 406 Ogden Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515 (next to CVS)

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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.