BLACK BELT SUCCESS STORY
Senpai Arianna Gonzalez, First Dan Black Belt
How It All Started...
Senpai Arianna’s journey started at the age of 5 years old. She was inspired by her older
sisters to start martial arts, having watched them in their classes at the age of 4, in the Los Angeles area with Sensei Terry L’Anglois. Senpai Arianna thought martial arts was fun and knew it was a place of learning, but she will tell you her perspective on martial arts now has only deepened and become more meaningful. She continued advancing and assisting at the dojo until a family move to the Antelope Valley forced her to take a short hiatus. She had earned her Second-Degree Blue Belt.
Some time passed and she began to search for a new dojo, going to many
and taking trial classes but nothing seemed to compare or have any relation to her
previous dojo that she loved and felt was her family. In 2017, after a long search, she and her mother came across a dojo that caught both of their attention. After observing a class in action, she immediately found a fit and enrolled.
The dojo was a local city recreational program called Young Champions, studying under Sensei Tony Kitson. She advanced quickly at Young Champions and began to assist lower ranks, something she enjoyed doing at her first dojo. A little over a year passed at Young Champions when Senpai Arianna was introduced to Sensei Matt, a meeting that she felt would take her martial arts journey to a new level, exceeding even her own expectations. She eventually enrolled at Erolin 3DMA in May 2018 while simultaneously attending and assisting at Young Champions, spending time to grow herself while also investing into others at Young Champions. While she held a higher rank at Young Champions, she came to Erolin 3DMA at Second-Degree Blue Belt.
For the next year, Senpai Arianna would attend Erolin 3DMA with Sensei Matt on Thursdays and Saturdays while attending and assisting at Young Champions with Sensei Tony on Fridays. In June 2019, after investing into thousands of Antelope Valley's youth for 30+ years (one of whom was Sensei Matt), Sensei Tony decided it was time to retire from teaching. She felt it was best to leave Young Champions as well and fully invest in Erolin 3DMA. She started assisting in lower ranks classes.
Her journey at Erolin 3DMA hasn't always been easy. There were times she had to practically unlearn and relearn in order to go to the next level. On April 30, 2021, after 3 years of training at Erolin 3DMA and 12 years since she first started her martial arts journey, Senpai Arianna earned her First Dan Black Belt. She also earned the title 'Senpai' in December 2021. She knows that this isn't the end but simply another milestone achieved along her martial arts journey. She wants to continue growing, improving and learning for many more years to come. She believes with the promotion, there are greater requirements and greater
responsibilities; she is ready for the journey ahead of her.
Today, you can still find her assisting the younger class, mainly the Junior Ninjas class, inspiring the next generation of martial artists, especially the young girls. She has found her new dojo family and wants to continue building stronger bonds with everyone as time progresses. She has grown not only as a martial artist but as a person. She wants to continue doing so for the rest of her life and hopes to mentor the next generation of martial artists like those whom have gone before her.