Rachel’s Black Belt Journey

Master Helsdon: Alright, so you just received your black belt. Congratulations! How does it feel?

Rachel: Good.

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

Mom: Her dad signed her up for self-defense.

Master Helsdon: Okay, absolutely.

Dad: Self-defense and confidence.

Master Helsdon: Confidence. And what did you find in your path to the black belt?

Rachel: Um, that stuff.

Master Helsdon: What’s your biggest surprise? Something you didn’t know you were going to gain but now that you’re here?

Rachel: To lead a group.

Master Helsdon: To lead a group, learn how to be a good leader. And mom and dad, what did you find in her? You brought her in for self-defense and confidence. What did you wind up finding?

Mom: I definitely think her confidence grew as she progressed through the belts. She figured out- she’s a good student, so she figured out what she had to do to refine her craft in martial arts. I’m very proud of the progress she’s made.

Master Helsdon: Absolutely.

Dad: And the commitment. It’s a lot of karate classes and she has a lot of other activities too, so to be able to do this as long as she has, and to do it with all the other activities, we’re really proud of her.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. Now, it’s hard to get all the way through to the end. What would you say to somebody that’s struggling a little bit? Now that you’re here with the black belt on, what would you tell them? Maybe something you struggled with along the way, what would you tell them to do?

Rachel: Keep going. *Looks at sister*

Master Helsdon: Awesome. Congratulations.



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.