Wiley Borof’s 12-year karate journey | New

By on October 14, 2021 0

Telluride High School senior Wiley Borof recently earned his American karate Kenpo black belt, which is no easy task.

Borof’s instructor, Eric Nepsky, studied with Grandmaster Bob White, of Costa Mesa, Calif., For over 25 years and has been teaching Borof since third year.

“The Bob White school produced 220 black belts. Only 15 of those 220 are from Telluride. Wiley has now joined this group, ”Nepsky said of his student.

He added that about 70,000 students have passed through White’s school in an attempt to receive their black belt.

Borof started taking karate lessons in kindergarten under the tutelage of Andrea Pfefer-Trombi. But unlike his peers who quit art after a few years, Borof continued.

“I started in kindergarten, and I was a spazzy little kid who couldn’t stand still,” Borof said. “My friends and I started karate because it sounded good, but I kept going back, and eventually I got involved. I didn’t feel like I could stop.

He called karate “one of the biggest commitments of his life”. Twelve years after his debut, Borof passed tests and received his black belt on September 18.

His mother, Wendy Borof, remembers watching her son during the black belt test. She was amazed at her ability to remember all the complicated demands and movements.

“It was really, really impressive,” she said.

Grandparents, friends and other Black Belt teachers also showed up to attend the ceremony.

Around the same time last year, with his black belt just around the corner, Borof attended a world-class out-of-state kayaking academy for his freshman year of high school, which delayed his belt test. one year old black. When he returned to Telluride for his senior year, he knew he had to finish his black belt journey.

“It’s been 11 years, let’s release the twelfth,” Borof said of his commitment to karate.

Nepsky said he was very impressed with Borof’s tenacity and determination to continue in the art after being away for a year.

“Even if a person has taken six or seven years, they don’t always come back,” he said. “American karate Kenpo is one of the most difficult things you can do.

To receive a black belt in American Kenpo, explained Nepsky, a participant must pass four major tests throughout the ceremony. The first is the curriculum and knowledge of the art; the second is the physical element; the third is a thesis explaining how art has changed their lives; and the fourth is a personal form of black belt that places the participant in the role of a stunt coordinator during a fight.

“Art is adapted to each student. In all aspects of mind, body and spirit, every student will be challenged, ”added Nepsky.

Borof’s thesis was about how karate influenced him and helped him in his other passions.

“It was about how karate has helped me in all other aspects of skiing, kayaking and life in general,” he said. “It wasn’t just the physical part, but the mental part. This state of mind accompanies me in all the other sports I practice.

Last year, the karate mentality kicked in when Borof covered six miles dragging a kayak on his shoulders. He thought back to what he had learned from karate, and though his shoulders were aching and numb, he pushed to the end of the path. The road ended up being the most rewarding river he had ever kayaked in.

“Karate has given me the mental knowledge that I can go on,” he said.

Everyone starts art for a different reason, Nepsky explained, whether it’s for the mental benefits of learning self-defense or for the fitness aspect.

Not always the tallest kid in his class, Borof joined because he wanted to prove that the little guy could be powerful and do whatever he wanted to do.

“Karate has always made me feel bigger and stronger,” he added. “I’m not the tallest guy. … It’s really nice to be able to have this confidence in me to protect me.

Borof believes the most difficult hurdle to overcome on his journey to becoming a black belt was the level of commitment required.

“It’s a lot of time and the biggest commitment I’ve put into anything in my life,” he said.

After a 12-year career, Borof is proud and “happy” with his black belt.

“The reason this art is 3,000 years old is because it is transformative,” said Nepsky. “It changes the way people live and see the world. Changes you mentally, physically and spiritually.

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