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.