Student Spotlight - Steve Hanson Places Third in a Nationally Ranked Competition
By Kaya Diebes & Bradley Short
With 16 other people in his division fighting for a top spot, Steve Hanson placed third in a nationally ranked competition. Steve showed that his hard work week after week had paid off. After training for several hours each day, Steve was able to show his skills in a well-known Karate tournament, the AKA (American Karate Association) Warrior Cup.
Steve has spent the majority of his life training for competitions and developing his skill. With 10 years under his belt, Steve has never been without a role model to look up to and follow in their footsteps. Starting in the previous generation, Steve’s father did Taekwondo and more recently, being four or five years ago, took up Karate. However, Steve’s biggest influence was his sister. Steve was fairly young when his sister took up Karate, but nonetheless, he was always determined to take up the sport as soon as he could. Steve’s family members have always been big encouragers of the sport. His dad is at a first degree black belt and on his way to be a second degree black belt in a couple of months. Steve’s sister, like himself, is a third degree black belt.
Not only is Steve’s family big supporters of the sport and his journey throughout the ten years he’s been doing it, but Steve’s Karate school, Ultimate Martial Arts, has a long lineage of masters with a great title to live up to. Some of the most experienced people have eighth degree black belts and higher, which makes them the grand masters. Two of the most prominent instructors in Steve’s training are Master John Olson, a seventh degree black belt who trains Steve in sparring, and Mr. Mitch Maas. Steve’s master instructor has impressive experience and a high title. His master instructor is in the Karate Hall of Fame and was “a big fighter back in the day.” As Steve became more and more familiar with the world of Karate, he gained many role models that influence him in his own Karate career.
When asked if he would take up an instructor’s job later in life, Steve said that he would be interested in teaching sparring and helping people fight. With more and more kids joining Karate every year, Steve could end up becoming a role model to them just as how he was influenced by the people around him.
In addition to gaining impressive and experienced role models, Karate can be extremely beneficial to a person’s health. Throughout the interview, CN² asked Steve “If there was a message you could get across to people, is there something you’d like them to know?” Steve made a point to say that Karate is quite beneficial to your health, and not just your physical health either. “Karate can get you into good shape, keeps your self-confidence, and benefits the body both physically and spiritually.” In fact, Steve’s sister joined Karate because a doctor actually recommended it, saying it would help with her joints. Karate can be a big influencer on your health and teaches you a great amount of discipline.
Steve has gained some life long experiences from taking part in Karate. He has traveled across the United States. He has had the opportunity to compete in Chicago, Orlando, Washington D.C., and more places to come. When asked about the “coolest place he has ever competed”, Steve said that competing in Orlando was really exciting, seeing as how he got to compete inside the Disney resorts. On top of traveling to incredible places, Steve has placed second and third in multiple national level competitions, which are sure to be filled with happy memories.