Spotlight on: Midlo’s Karate Kid

Freshman Emily Gundel Holds Second Degree Black Belt

Photo by: Martha Gundel
Freshman Emily Gundel holds a second degree black belt.

Every Tuesday, freshman Emily Gundel, practices Karate and Ju Jitsu; she gained a second degree black belt in the seventh grade and has since then continued to enhance her abilities at Mongrel Fitness Center.

When asked what karate means to her, she describes it as, “You learn patience and how to listen to others. A lot of technique goes into karate, so you learn to understand others also. Respect is a big thing too, especially for your teacher. You learn commitment because karate is hard, and you have to do things you never thought you had to do, like running miles and [doing] push-ups. We have a motto: “Blood, Sweat, & Tears”.

A basic day in the life of karate is learning to spar, kick, punch, and defend against attack. It takes time and practice to master and earn a second degree black belt, but Gundel recommends it, advising, “Things can happen to you unexpectedly. Having the capability to protect yourself gives you confidence and a feeling of safety.”

Students of the sport must master thirteen levels of belts, each with a corresponding color, before reaching the black belt. The colors range from white to black, and each color has a senior color, such as red and senior red. Gundel explains, “I first got into karate in elementary school when they started a program called W.E.P. It was sort of a mini club that [met] every Wednesday. I started it in first grade and then continued in second grade because I found it fun. Now, since I am a second degree black belt, I actually get to teach W.E.P.!”

Keep Kickin’ Emily!