Belt Rank: 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate
Where do you attend school: Heritage High School
Why did you start IMAA: I started IMAA because I needed something different, exciting, and sustainable. After 5 years of dance, it got boring and repetitive, and I wasn’t a huge fan of team sports outside of recreational purposes. So I experimented with solo sports and even tried out a new dance studio which was the one right next to IMAA. After seeing the dojo, I wanted to try it and then I just stuck with it.
What have you gained attending IMAA: I have gained so much physically and mentally from IMAA. Physically I am in the best shape of my life. I’ve been able to do things that I was unable to do in previous years. Mentally is where I really see the change. I deal with social anxiety and I struggle with my self-esteem. Before, I didn’t have an outlet or a place where I felt good about myself. When I started martial arts I felt good… I felt like I had a place to belong. Now it’s my second home. I’m at the dojo as much as I can be. It is one of the only places where I truly feel like I can belong. I am comfortable and I’m never happier than I am when I’m doing martial arts.
Honors/awards: A honor roll, A/B honor roll, and Student of the quarter at IMAA
Favorite martial arts actor: Bruce Lee. I’ve always admired how he does his own stunts, especially with me being part of the demo team.
Favorite martial arts movie: Karate Kid (a little cliche, I know, but it’s a classic). I’m also a HUGE fan of the Cobra Kai series on Netflix.