Sensei Luke Kozlowski

 

 

Sensei Luke Kozlowski

Sensei Luke is a high school student at Licking Valley High School (Go Panthers!). He is involved in others sports besides karate; he enjoys football and also has an interest in lacrosse. However, karate has always been the place he excelled the most.

As a young boy Luke grew up watching TV shows like Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and he was always into super hero movies as well. (Batman, Superman, Spider-man, Captain America, and Thor are all still favorites!) Luke loved to pretend to be his heroes and was constantly fighting the “bad guys”.

Around the age of five, Luke expressed interest in taking karate and learning how to fight “for real”. His parents were skeptical about whether or not he was serious about getting into karate.

Basically, with so many other things going on, it was up in the air whether or not karate was something he was going to be able to do. Little did he and his family know, that one day, he would earn the rank of Coszacks Black Belt.

When he began taking an interest in karate, Luke’s grandparents assisted in finding out more information about area clubs and trying to find a suitable place to try. His grandmother discovered Coszacks Karate Club (Now Coszacks School of Self-Defense) in Zanesville.

There were beginner classes held at the old Y in Zanesville and eventually Luke began taking classes there in spring of 2004, at the age of six. The class there was taught by Sensei Mike Emmert, who was just out of high school at the time, and also by Master Jeff Hardwick (Now Grand Master Jeff Hardwick). Luke loved going to classes.

By the summer of 2004 he was still going strong and wanted to join the club for classes at their dojo ( at that time, on Olde Falls road). Sometime that fall after Luke had turned seven, he visited for a class at the dojo.

He still wanted to stick with it and begin classes there. However, being every week, his busy parents didn’t know how they were going to work out getting him from Hanover to Zanesville. That’s when Luke’s grandfather, Jerry Miller, volunteered to drive him to classes. He was going to be able to continue his journey!

Over the next several years, Luke, with the help of his faithful and supportive grandfather and family, attended classes and progressed. As a young person, coming up through the ranks was a challenge to stay motivated to stick with it.

Over the years, Luke had made many friends, young and old, but many didn’t stick with it for very long. As he got higher in rank, Luke was asked to start teaching other students when he was still very young, around the age of nine or ten. He confesses that he didn’t like it all that much.

Though he didn’t realize it, being pushed to teach would definitely increase his skill level and help shape who he is as a martial artist and as a person today. However, he began to lose motivation for coming to class and even thought about quitting a couple of times. Plus, Luke got into other sports and when he would get away from class for a while that was also an added obstacle because he got a little rusty.

His supportive parents and grandfather kept encouraging him to stick with it. By the summer of 2010 Luke had earned his Brown Belt; just a few promotions away from making his young dream of becoming a Black Belt a reality.

That promotion to Luke had been a huge milestone, and a real confidence booster. He really started to get serious about training for his next promotions. He had also become really good friends with Dakota Burtnett who was also serious about training for his Black Belt.

Sensei Dakota began attending private lessons with Sensei Brad Seward and his progression, due to the extra work, was extraordinary. In May of 2011, Luke watched his good friend Dakota take and pass his Black Belt promotion. Luke was so proud of his friend who then told him, “You’re the next one!” That was all the motivation he needed.

Luke began taking private lessons with Sensei Brad to train for his First Degree Brown Belt promotion which he took and earned in August of 2011 at the age of 13. That winter he continued to practice. He also really got into working out on his own, which would help him immensely for the challenges ahead.

In February of 2012 Luke took his Second Degree Brown Belt promotion and earned it. This was also the same time Grand Master Moore passed away and Master Hardwick was promoted to Grand Master. Luke was then told that a date needed to be set for his Black Belt promotion.

On June 9, 2012 (Grand Master Hardwick’s Birthday) Luke tested for his First Degree Black Belt Promotion and passed at the age of 14; effectively becoming the 38th Black Belt of Coszacks!

Sensei Luke had invited his original teacher Sensei Mike, whom he hadn’t seen for the past eight years, to watch his former student take his Black Belt promotion. Sensei Luke is proud to say that to date, alongside Sensei Mike; he is the youngest student to earn his Black Belt in Coszacks history!

Upon passing and ending the promotion Sensei Luke dedicated his journey to his grandfather, Jerry Miller, who had stuck with him through it all, and presented him a plaque for his dedication and support. After eight years we had done it!

Earning his Black Belt with Coszacks has been the most proud experience of Sensei Luke’s life thus far. He knows that his journey was not an easy one, but taught him to be a better person all around.

Gaining confidence, working hard, setting goals, learning to persevere when things get tough, being responsible, and setting a good example for others around you, are all life lessons that Sensei Luke has learned along his journey as a martial artist.

He hopes that his story will inspire the ones he now teaches and others around him to be the best they can be. (Setting goals for themselves and not stopping until they achieve them) Sensei Luke plans to continue teaching and progressing with Coszacks School of Self Defense throughout the rest of high school, and after that who knows, the sky is the limit!

 

Some of Sensei Luke’s Favorite Quotes:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. ~ Thomas A. Edison

Never, never, never give up. ~ Winston Churchill

 

 

 

 


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