Kicking her way to success in karate

KIERSTYN MCMANUS, Reporter

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Control. Dedication. Hard work. With a little over four years practice, sophomore Julianna Spangler has turned into an expertise around karate, earning her black belt two years ago and continuing to learn and master the techniques.

“It was pretty hard just because there’s a lot of training—about 5 days a week,” Spangler explains the steps she had to take to get her black belt and how it’s changed her to work hard every day to achieve things that are important to her.

With karate in her life, Spangler had to give up her other hobbies when she made the commitment to dedicate her time to the sport. “I stopped doing soccer and lacrosse because my dad wanted me to try something else.”

Soon after, with a new karate school opening near her house, she was curious to check it out, eventually signing up. Little did she know, she would be earning her black belt two years from then, and eventually intern to help teach younger kids and share her passion to others.

In order to earn her black belt, Spangler had to break plastic boards with different strengths using “a whole bunch of moves put together with some gear on, and then sparing is when we put all of our gear on and do different stuff.”

After the big accomplishment, the sophomore did not feel her time was up for karate. She began interning at her karate school, where she “really enjoys working with [kids] because they’re super cute and when I go there, there’s something new every day.”

Even knowing all there is to karate by having her black belt, Spangler says she is still constantly learning to this day. Learning the sport was one thing, but what she took away from it affects her throughout each day by “learning to be more confident and believe in myself by controlling my actions.”    

In order to achieve the things that are important, it takes a lot of hard work and effort, according to Spangler. With hopes to continue her passion of karate through the end of high school, the sophomore wants to keep interning and encouraging kids to dedicate hard work and time into the sport as she did.

Spangler wants to leave Maryland for college, so it may be difficult to continue her passion after high school, but she knows she will carry her love towards the sport everywhere she goes in life.

Photo credit Julianna Spangler when earning her black belt. After a tournament in New Jersey, sophomore
celebrates her win for the day with her parents.

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