Senior expands horizons, earns top honor in karate


Hunter Frangis flies through the air during a karate practice.

Senior Hunter Frangis has been working on achieving more than just his high school diploma. 

After several years of hard work, he has also earned a black belt in karate.

It’s definitely a physical and mental challenge that you need to really prepare yourself for,” he said. “And it’s definitely a long test that you have to go through without any breaks. It’s about two hours long for the test.”

There is an intense amount of pressure during that time. 

“Even if you make a small mistake somewhere then that’s it. You’re done. Then you’ll have to retest some other time,” he said.

Frangis has been doing karate for more than four years. He got interested after a friend joined.

“I went there and I tried it out,” he said. “And I really liked it a lot, so I decided to just stick.”

Earning a black belt is the ultimate goal in martial arts.

“It shows discipline and it shows character. And it shows that you know you have a good mindset,” Frangis said.

Frangis said his biggest success came during one of his dojo’s demonstration shows. 

“We would have at least four to five people line up and get down on their hands and knees,” he explained, “and I would run and actually jump over them and then break the wooden boards at the end. I was like a flying kid.”

En route to those successes, he has had to deal with some self-doubt.

“My biggest struggle was definitely the nerves for thinking that like you know if I mess up then I would have to take more time to relearn it and then go back and try and test again,” Frangis said. “Definitely my biggest struggle with it was just the nerves and just really over doubting myself.”

His friends in the dojo helped him overcome his doubts.

“They always gave me the confidence boost that I needed and when it came to the test time and then when it came to test time I was just ready. I was prepared and I put myself in the right mindset to do it,” he said.

As he’s progressed, Frangis has become interested in another martial art called Bushido,  a Japanese style karate that requires weapons, forms, sparring, and self-defense.

“It’s training with like swords, which is really cool because it kind of teaches more of the Japanese side of that,” he said. “We’ve actually done it blindfolded before, where we’ll get like our own little space and we have to stay in that space while other people are also training near us. So it kind of takes away one of our senses and relies on the other ones to kind of hone them in more.”