Martial artists share motivation

Martial artists share motivation

Junior Adrien Ng is a third degree black belf in karate and the recipient of Ng enjoys sparring with friends to improve his skills. numerous awards.

Emily Kline, Staff Writer

From defeating an opponent with punches and kicks to talking about life, competing for national titles or just practicing with friends, a martial artist’s skill goes far beyond fighting alone. Benilde-St. Margaret’s martial artists-in-residence apply their talents in every field of life, always working to be they best they can be.


Julia Vogl – Sophomore

KE: What form of martial arts do you do?

JV: I do Korean style karate. It’s different from other styles in that it mainly focuses on the self-defense aspect rather than the artistic aspect. I’m a first degree black belt; I started in fourth grade, and I became a black belt in the middle of eighth grade.

KE: What sets martial arts apart from other activities?

JV: For one thing, there’s a leveling system and for another thing, it’s something you can apply to your everyday life. If you’re in a situation where you have to use it, it’s been known to save lives.

KE: What is your favorite part about karate?

JV: I like being able to see my friends everyday there and sparring [fighting] is really fun too. I really just want to train myself to be the best that I can be in it.

KE: How do martial arts help you in everyday life?

JV: It really helps me focus a whole lot more in school – concentrate my energy into one thing at a time.


Adrian Ng – Junior

KE: What form of martial arts do you do?

AN: I’m a third degree black belt in karate. [I’ve been in] karate for ten years now.

KE: What is your favorite part of karate?

AN: My favorite aspect would be kind of how you can compete with other friends. You make really good friends in karate, although you basically beat each other up all the time. I also like sparring––the adrenaline rush and the strategy, and I’m good at it. I always have a goal of what can I do to make myself better.

KE: How does karate translate into normal life?

AN: Sometimes it’s just the straightforward things––confidence, reaction time, footwork, and how to quickly figure out solutions to problems in everyday life.

KE: What kind of competitions have you done? Have you won any awards?

AN: There’s an association called NASKA [North American Sport Karate Association] that hosts competitions, the majority [being] in the Midwest––I go to all that I can. I’ve won a lot of first, second, and third place awards [there].

KE: What sets martial arts apart from other activities?

AN: I can be extremely competitive and afterwards there’s no bad blood. I have rivalries with a few other competitors but we’re also the best friends in the world. It’s more extreme when you fight your best friend.


Sammy Rude – Sophomore

KE: What form of martial arts do you do?

SR: I’m a second degree black belt in karate. It’s more traditional, and it’s not a lot of flips or that kind of stuff. It’s more for defensive purposes, and it’s not flashy [but] more subtle.

KE: What sets martial arts apart from other activities?

SR: It’s a lot [of] vigorous training, especially for sparring because you’re hitting each other. It causes more injuries and practice is more intense.

KE: What is your favorite part of karate?

SR: The competitions and tournaments. You get to test your skills and see how good you are and you get to meet people from all over. I’m also confident in being by myself because I know I can defend myself.

KE: What kinds of awards have you won?

SR: I’ve won a lot of first places, especially from Diamond Nationals; their 1st place trophies are five feet tall, [and] I have 16 of [those], but I have many more from other competitions that I’ve gone to. I’ve been ranked fourth in the nation in my age group.

KE: What’s your motivation?

SR: [I first started] because I was really clumsy as a kid, and my parents wanted me to get better balance. Now I keep going because I really like it, and it’s really fun.


Jeremy Pastir – Sophomore

KE: What form of martial arts do you do?

JP: I’m a black belt in karate. It’s about countering and attacking in dire situations––other forms are more about throws and blocks and not actually doing any reverse attacks.

KE: Was it difficult to balance karate and school?

JP: [Practice] was usually three to four times a week. When going for your black belt, testing can be 5 times a week.

KE: Do martial arts help you in everyday life?

JP: I remember being a lot more disciplined after doing it. In addition to practicing karate, you did a lot of just talking about life. [I eventually stopped] because I had done it for ten years and learned everything I’d wanted to learn, and now I focus on football and school.

KE: What was your motivation in karate?

JP: I just really enjoyed the sport so I kept going. I got to the point where if I knew if I quit I wouldn’t feel right. I had to prove to myself that I could get to black belt. [My favorite part] is the professional aspect of it. It actually had a purpose in self-defense.


Maddy Olson – Junior

KE: What form of martial arts do you do?

MO: Non-traditional tae-kwon-do. I have a black belt, and I’ve been doing it for ten years. It’s less standard and there’s less turning than other forms. I also just started jujitsu.

KE: When did you start martial arts? Why did you decide to do it?

MO: I started in first grade––[my] parents asked if I wanted to try it, and I guess I couldn’t escape after that. Eventually I grew to like it.

KE: What is your motivation in martial arts?

MO: I’ve just been doing it so long that I keep doing it. It keeps me from being bored and it’s good exercise. It’s pretty entertaining. I’d like to get my second degree belt, and keep going with jujitsu.

KE: Do martial arts help you in everyday life?

MO: We talk about having self-control and how you’re responsible for your own actions––when I’m out with my friends, they think I can defend myself, even though I probably [will] never have to.


Ms. May Lane

KE: What form of martial arts do you do?

ML: It’s aikido. What makes it different is it’s not about competition. You are working in a way that’s not meant to harm your opponent; you’re using your opponent’s energy against them. The founder [was] a practicing Buddhist, so there is a spiritual element that drew me to it.

KE: What level of aikido are you at?

ML: I’m at second kyu––second rank. I’m two steps away from black belt. It takes a longer time in aikido because again it’s not about just knowing the techniques, but it’s also understanding the energy that’s used, and the ability to move someone who’s much stronger than I am.

KE: What is your motivation in martial arts?

ML: It’s about improving myself and how I deal with conflict and how I interact with people. That’s one of the purposes––not what you do on the mat, but how you interact. I definitely want to get to sohden (first degree black belt).

KE: What is your favorite part about doing martial arts?

ML: One is just the community of people. You’re trusting the person you’re working with to allow you to throw them, and then it’s always vice versa: “you’re next.” Even though [aikido is] based in samurai swordsmanship [and] you could kill someone, that’s not why we do it.

KE: What sets martial arts apart from other activities?

ML: It’s not considered a sport. There are people in my dojo who are in their 70s and are still rolling, and they’ve been practicing for 40+ years. You learn a lot from them because certainly they don’t have the physical strength anymore, but are relying on their chi, their center.