GNHS Martial Artist…Mikala Rieber

Though martial arts may look like just a punch or a kick, senior Mikala Rieber embellishes the activity beyond the art of skillfully taking down your opponent to a state of discipline and tranquility.

Martial arts can be the act of self defense and attack, and though that’s why people tend to join, it’s more than that. Martial arts can shape and teach personality and demonstrate how you can form the person you want to be. So how does martial arts truly affect the lives of others?

“It’s life changing, honestly. Not only did it teach me actual self defense and stuff, it gave me confidence.

That’s something that I’ve never had my entire life. They taught me how to look out for people and how to be that type of person, a role model,” said senior Mikala Rieber.

One of the most interesting aspects of martial arts includes dexterity and discipline. Even if you’re a good follower or student, there’s still hardships one must conquer before really accepting your inner self.

“I’m a first degree black belt for context. And I’d definitely say the journey to that and after that, every belt level, every class, they push you. They want to make sure that you are putting yourself out there.

When you’re a lower belt, you’re getting beat, beaten on by black belts, like, first degrees to fourth degrees that are your masters. I mean, obviously, they’re there to build you up, but you gotta get broken down sometimes. And sometimes it’s just rough. And on top of that, the social aspect of it. I know when I was first there, it was rough making friends, but now basically, it’s not the same without me there,” Rieber said.

Martial arts may seem a bit intimidating just to jump in and join, but it’s worthwhile, fulfilling, and very promising. Rieber is excellent at the art and very much inspires others to give it a try.

“I’d show (others) that little bit of positivity and light, that ‘Hey, you can protect yourself. There are people who care about you. No matter what you look like, no matter what you identify as, you can be strong and you can be what you want to be.’ Martial arts isn’t only about outer strength, it’s about inner strength as well,” Rieber said.