Q&A: Ivana Miladinovic (11)

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Ivana Miladinovic (11) is training hard, winning tournaments and anticipating the future. A few years back, Miladinovic was training with a katana. Since then she has earned a higher belt rank.

Mia Martinez

 

Q: What got you interested in karate?

A: My dad did judo for many years, in which he got my brother and sister to do it, so I decided to try it out and I’ve been doing it ever since.

 

Q: How long have you been doing karate?

A: Six years

 

Q: Where do you practice karate?

A: Azatos School of Martial Arts

 

Q: How has karate shaped you into the person you are today?

A: Discipline is number one. I was taught to fight constructively [in tournaments] and defensively. The first day I stepped on the mat I was terrified, but every teacher encouraged me that it was going to be okay. I didn’t realize how much stronger I’ve become until competing in nationals and international, and I’m really grateful for that.

 

Q: What has motivated you to continue practicing karate?

A: After my father passed away I realized continuing to compete is something he really would’ve wanted, and I still do it to this day. I dedicate every tournament and championship to him. Winning nationals has its benefits scholarship wise, and I thought it’d be pretty cool to keep trying and see how far I can get and where I can go with it.

 

Q: Where do you think karate will take you?

A: I don’t see myself going on any U.S. Karate team like my coach and mom aspire me to be, I put my education first. Karate has been a thing I do aside from school and it’s going to stay that way. I’ve already won nationals and international, so I’m hoping I can get a chance for a scholarship which would be cool!

 

Q: Do you think that karate has affected your work ethic in school?

A: I think it’s affected me in a positive way. it has worked me to become stronger not just physically but mentally, and definitely improved my strategies of thinking.

 

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start getting involved with martial arts?

A: Do not be afraid. Commitment is key and this goes for any martial arts. Find a teacher for whom karate is a way of life, and never be scared to be yourself.