Sensei-tional Student


Kagen and his father after Kagen completed his test for his most recent black belt, the 3rd Dan.

AJ Martinez, Staff Reporter

Alex Kagen is a CLC student and martial arts practitioner who began taking martial arts classes in 2010 and 2011 in third grade. Kagen has put considerable effort into practicing and learning, and he recently earned his third dan (or level) black belt in 2021. He started teaching younger children martial arts in 2019. 

Kagen initially began by learning and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. However, he has branched out and started learning taekwondo, now the leading martial art he teaches to his students. 

Throughout his time practicing taekwondo, Kagen was soon “required to teach” students to advance to higher levels. His classes usually consist of about 12 to 13 children, with ages ranging from 6 to 18. In more advanced courses, Kagen could teach as many as 20 students. Kagen’s goals as a teacher are to “condition and help instill discipline” in his students to prepare them for more advanced courses. 

When asked how he balances school and martial arts, Kagen stated that he “has to adjust for younger people’s schedules.” Overall, teaching martial arts gives him some flexibility, as most of his students are still in school and unavailable until the afternoon. 

Despite experiencing some difficulties when teaching, such as when his young students are sometimes easily distracted, Kagen finds the growth his students make to be the most enjoyable part of being an instructor. 

Overall, Kagen is proud of himself for how far he has made it and hopes to be an example of perseverance and diligence not just for his students, but for everyone.