On Saturday, June 25, my husband Ross Levine became the Karate Combat World Middleweight Champion.

Karate Combat is the first professional, full-contact karate league that has been hosting worldwide events since 2018. Similar to MMA fighters hoping to land a shot with the UFC, karate specialists aim to fight for Karate Combat. Winning a championship title with Karate Combat is the highest level of achievement for a martial artist, and after Ross’s victory on Saturday, he became the best middleweight in the world.

It’s an accolade I knew he was always capable of achieving, but watching a dream unfold in real time is a feeling that is hard to put into words.

While not everyone spends their life training for a world title, many of us know the blissful feeling of victory, the painful sting of defeat or the responsibility of being a strong support system. This weekend, while my husband achieved victory, I learned the true value of being a supportive partner and how showing up for the people you love means everything.

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Fight week in Orlando for the season four finale of Karate Combat was like something out of a movie. When we arrived, fresh from our home in Rhode Island, all eyes were on Ross, the challenger who hails from Brooklyn. All week long, cameras and microphones were shoved in his face with reporters and media outlets wanting to know how “Turbo” was going to get the job done. It could have been extremely easy to get caught up in the spotlight, but Ross never lost sight of his mission and leaned on his friends and family to remain focused.

On Saturday night, when the five, hard rounds were over and the belt was wrapped around my husband’s waist, the first thing he did with his new platform was thank his parents.

“For years, those two sacrificed everything for me,” he said. “They drove me to every tournament up and down the east coast so I can get the experience I needed to eventually be here. I’m a world champion, and I can’t wait to put this belt on your shoulders.”

Showing up for the people you love matters. Support matters and this weekend proved that without a loving support system, victory may not have tasted as sweet as it did.

Whether it's your partner, child, family member or friend, show up for the people you love, win or lose, and they will never forget how you made them feel.

Watch Ross Levine capture his first professional title here:

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