Ziggy’s 2nd Degree Journey

Master Helsdon: Alright, Ziggy, you just earned your second-degree black belt. How does it feel?

Ziggy: Great, sir. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but I’m thrilled to have finally achieved it.

Master Helsdon: Excellent. Pushing through from first to second degree is hard. A lot of people give up after the first one. Tell us about what got you through and what you found along the way.

Ziggy: I took some time off as I was working and dealing with life, doing my own thing. During that time, I realized there was something missing in my life. I was invited back by my instructors, and it only took one visit to know that I needed to be here. As soon as I’m on the mats, I feel like I’m at home. I feel like I belong here.

Master Helsdon: Excellent.

Ziggy: So I just kept going.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. What would you tell other first-degrees? Lots of people face the same thing—life gets in the way. What would you tell someone thinking about coming back?

Ziggy: It doesn’t matter how long it’s been or if you think you’re not good anymore. It doesn’t matter if you doubt yourself. Just go back to class, even if it’s just once in a while. It’s worth it.

Master Helsdon: Awesome. Thanks, Ziggy.



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.