USA Karate Academy dojo is happy to congratulate Anel Ruiz for passing her test and being elevated to the rank of Shodan. Anel Ruiz is a student of Shorecrest High School and has been training in Shito-Ryu under the direction of Joni Sharrah for almost 10 years. Anel is currently an assistant instructor at USA Karate Academy and has overcome many challenges through the years to achieve her newly earned rank. Anel’s rank promotion serves as a positive example for the up and coming youths in that they get to see their assistant teacher set and achieve her long term goals. As Anel recounts her journey toward preparing for and earning the rank of Shodan she reflected about her obstacles whereby a year ago, due to a severe ankle injury sustained while playing soccer, Anel lost her focus and felt like giving up karate. When asked what got her back on track Anel says that she just needed a reminder of why she was in karate and found the needed reinforcement after talking with Shihan Joni. ” I feel it has put into perspective where karate fits in my life”. Anel credits her karate trainig at USA Karate Academy for providing structure in her life and teaching lessons beyond just kicking and punching that seem to be missing in today’s society, such as respect for authority, confidence and how to feel good about yourself. When asked what message she may have for her kohai (students that she mentors), Anel said, ” When in doubt about your karate training, talk to Shihan Joni”. In closing Anel says, ” Karate training is not easy but it is all worth it in the end”.