About the Author - Barbara Lewis

Barbara Lewis

Getting a black belt in karate was never my goal.  It was the journey that interested me – the exercise and the ability to touch my toes.  Focusing my high school days on pompoms had left my body toned and agile.  However, by the time I was nearing 30, I couldn’t see my toes.  Much less touch them. 

My martial arts training had begun
when my family lived near Tokyo, where my father was stationed with the US Air Force.  When my parents asked me how I liked first grade,

I admitted that I hated recess the most.  Pressed, I confided that it was the boys who ran after me, jumped on me and tried to kiss me that made the recess hour intolerable. 

The following week, my ballet class was supplemented by a judo course, where I was surrounded by boys.  Within a few lessons, I was tossing my 200-pound instructor over my head.  Actually, he was leaping, but I thought I was tossing him.  Armed with confidence, I began throwing the boys my size around as well.  Then the bigger boys in class.  The next incident on the playground was memorable.  For the first time I walked onto the playground and stood still.  When a boy jumped on my back, I threw him over my shoulder.  As he lay on the ground, I yelled loud enough for everyone to hear, “Don’t ever do that again!”  And no one ever did.   

Many years later when the school bully picked on my son, I enrolled him in a local karate class in New York City.  While I sat with the other mothers at the back of my son’s Tae Kwon Do class reading, I occasionally glanced up to see college-age girls exercising with punches and kicks thrown here and there.  And they could all touch their toes! 

I felt silly the first day of class, decked out in my white uniform and white belt, surrounded by children and a few teenagers.  The mothers at the back of the class smirked and, luckily, held back their laugher as I spent more time kicking myself than landing my foot on the big bag in front of me.

But it wasn’t long before I was touching my toes.  The exercise was great and I was hitting the bag more than myself, so I stuck with it.  My son and I progressed through the various belt colors and three years later we were awarded our black belts. 

Oftentimes, people ask me if Iíve ever had to use karate.  The answer is, no; however, Iíve been in situations where knowing karate might have saved my life. 

Although I can touch my toes and defend myself, the real advantage of my karate training is that I have a black belt in the boardroom.  My path to success in business forged through disappointments and over failures.  .  

The skills that I learned in karate give me the confidence to deal with top executives – whether they are arrogant, powerful or obnoxious.  Intimidation is not in my vocabulary.  “Get a Black Belt in Business!” is the story of my journey to the boardroom and how using the foundational tenets of karate training can help the reader get a black belt in business


                         Contact Barbara Lewis (818)784-9888 - barbaralewis@centurionconsulting.com