How long have you been training karate?
I started training karate in 2004 and never stopped.
How did you become interested in the beginning?
Growing up I was always watching TV shows like “Power Rangers” and “Dragon Ball Z”, then I would run around outside play fighting with my siblings. I was inspired by those characters to be a hero and train to fight, and one day my parents signed me up for karate lessons. It’s become my passion!
What are some of best experiences you’ve had through martial arts?
One of the best experiences I’ve had in martial arts was my first trip to Japan in 2010. I was 19 years old and had never left Florida before. During that trip I competed in the Renshinkan International Friendship Tournament and met people from all over the world who are as passionate as I am about karate. That experience inspired me to continue to travel, and every year I make it a priority to plan a trip to train or compete.
What do you like to focus on these days with your practice and how do you think that’s changed from just a couple years ago?
When I started training all I wanted to do was spar and never practice any of the kata (karate forms) but as I got older and learned that kata has fighting applications and they are hidden in the moves I thought to myself “this is like a puzzle I need to solve” … and I love puzzles! So, I have been focused on kata and the applications a lot these days.
Is there any advice you would give to someone just starting out?
Don’t quit, a black belt is only a white belt that never stopped training. I was not an athlete when I started but I loved karate and never quit and I got good as a result.