Sophie Lekas: karate master


Ever since first grade, Sophie Lekas, sophomore, has been learning karate. After six years of hard work and training, she got her black belt. But Lekas didn’t stop there. She kept training and got a second degree black belt as well, one of the highest ranks in karate, a rank that is usually achieved by adults.

Lekas was able to achieve a second degree black belt at such an early age through her hard work and motivation for the sport.

“What helped me the most was having a goal in mind before every test,” Lekas said. “Students, on average, move up half a belt each test, but I always aimed to get the next belt right away. To accomplish my goals, I would work really hard in class and take extra classes. As well as training with a Sensei, I also had to work hard and train at home.”

Lekas is a junior second degree black belt as she received the rank before becoming an adult. She is no longer testing to achieve a higher belt ranking, but that isn’t keeping her from training. She is mostly training to stay in shape, to get stronger, and to perfect her techniques.

Lekas’ ultimate goal is to make it on the US Team when she is an adult. In order to do so, she has to train intensively, even at such a young age.

Before achieving the status of second degree black belt to get to the advanced level she is at right now, Lekas had to put in many hours of training. She started by training one hour a week, but as she got more advanced, she trained more frequently and took harder classes. In addition to her training, she took part in competitions.

“Going to tournaments and competitions helped prepare me for my black belt test because I could see my competition and who I was going up against,” Lekas said.

Overall, Lekas’s favorite thing about karate is that it is an individual sport.

“We do fight others in sparring matches, but we mostly work on techniques and katas by ourselves,” Lekas said. “I also really enjoy the satisfaction it gives me by making me stronger, making me more alert of my surroundings, and giving me a competitive mindset.”