The Karate Kid

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By Jackson Woody- Editor-in-Chief

When most people hear the words “Karate Kid”, the things that come to mind consist of ‘Wax on, Wax off’, The 80’s, and the Jaden Smith-Jackie Chan duo. A karate kid here at DSF is sophomore Abby Cornwell.

Abby may be known to many as an academic star at Freeman, but what many do not know about her is that she is a black belt in karate.

Abby and her family have been training in karate at the Martial Arts World of West End for three and a half years.

“My parents do it, my entire family does it, it’s one of those sports that you can do with your entire family,” said Abby.

Abby first became interested in martial arts through her three younger siblings, who participated in the After School program at Martial Arts World of West End.

“They stayed after school for 30 minutes once a week for martial arts, and at the end, we decided to join the program,” said Abby.

Social time has not been the only aspect of karate that has carried Abby to elite martial arts status as she finds relief in the intense nature of the sport.

“It’s definitely a stress reliever, getting to punch and yell and having it be socially acceptable is a relief. Breaking boards is fun, too,” said Abby.

“I also enjoy aspects of how it’s not based on age. I can have kids who are 6 years old teaching me while I can be teaching a 42 year-old, so I think that aspect makes it really fun for me, just learning ‘how do I teach a 6 year-old and how do I teach a 30 year-old,” said Abby.

Despite the outlet of relief along with the life lessons provided by karate, the greatest thing Abby takes out of the sport are the qualities it has instilled into her personality.

“The greatest thing I’ve earned from martial arts is a confidence where I can walk and I can be confident that if something happens, then I can be prepared, that’s something I’ve used in my everyday life most often,” said Abby.

Abby tested for the official status of black belt on Friday, Oct.14. She passed her tests, and received her reward—the black belt.

Getting a black belt takes years of intense practice of skill, discipline, and all around athleticism. Training is done in stages, with each stage rewarding a different-colored belt after being completed.

Despite reaching the highest attainable level of martial arts status, Abby has no plans on halting her experience.

“I just want to continue training with my family, to see them achieve their black belts, and to just keep going,” said Abby.

To go along with martial arts, Abby is also on the cross country team at Freeman, where she has overcome shin splints to contend with the team moving forward.

“She’s been banged up for a lot of the year, but she’s healthy now and is training well,” said Mark Harvey, assistant coach of the Freeman girls cross country team.

“She’s a really well-rounded athlete and a very hard worker, that shows given her commitment to two high intensity sports, especially with her success in karate,” said Coach Harvey.

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