Student Spotlight: Karate Girl
This is a new series that we are adding to the Rhodes Review. You walk past people in school every single day. Hundreds of people who you do not know anything about. There are people who attend Rhodes High School who have a special talent or interest in something that you would never expect.
14-year-old Giannette Vega is a freshmen here at Rhodes. She has a unique interest in karate. You would probably never expect it, unless she told you herself. I sat down and interviewed Giannette about her interest in karate.
What made you want to take up Karate?
When I was little my dad put me in baseball. I did not like it at all. One day, my dad told me how he used to do karate when he was younger. So, I saw this flyer and I wanted to do it just like he did.
How long have you been doing karate?
Since I was 6-years-old, so for 8 years.
Do you think people view you as a karate type?
No because when people see and talk to me, they think of me as a shy, timid person.
What belt are you and what did you have to do to earn that belt?
I am a black belt. In order for me to earn this, belt I had to take a three part test. I had to write a typed document on the history of karate and its origins from Okinawa, Japan. Then, I had use a Kata (a routine/pattern of movements used to protect oneself) and formally present in front of others.. Then, on the day of the real test, where I would get my belt, I had to present the self defense and do 3 of my highest Katas.
Do you believe you can defend yourself in the event you were threatened?
Yes, I believe I can.
What do you get out of Karate?
I get self-discipline out of it and I get to learn about the culture of it. Also to me, it's a way to express your emotions in a healthy way.
What were some challenges you had to face?
Achieving my black belt was a great challenge because that was very nerve-racking. Another challenging thing is that I'm one of the highest ranks, so everyone looks up to me. I try to be the best role model I can be and set the best example for the younger people.
What were some achievements you made throughout karate?
Well first was getting my black belt, but most importantly was winning most of my fights in the tournaments and winning the state championship in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
How long do you plan on doing karate?
I want do karate for as long as I can, but maybe after I graduate and go to college I might stop karate for a while to focus on my education.
Do you recommend other people to try out karate?
I do, but it is very challenging and can get very frustrating. If you are a very calm and a respectful person, you should definitely take up karate.