VBKA Student Recognition Corner 2010 - 2011
View the 2008-2009 Student Recognition Corner
Jonathan Hooper - 3rd Place in State Science Fair
Jonathan finished 1st place in the Junior (middle school) Division of Chemistry at the Indian River Regional Science & Engineering Fair, which was held January 29, 2011. He received an $8,000 Scholarship to the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University and a State Bid to compete in the state science fair. Jonathan finished 3rd place in the Junior Division of Chemistry at the 56th Annual State Science & Engineering Fair held March 23-25th in Orlando, Florida.

Here are some science fair facts:

In the state of Florida, 130,000 students compete in regional science fairs. Of those students, 900 are selected to go to the state science fair. Jonathan finished in the top 200 of 130,000 students in Florida in science fairs!
Mike Giessert • Fourth Degree Black Belt • Sebastian School Instructor
And ... a man on a mission!

In 2004 Mike was asked if he would be interested in making a mission trip to the Bahamas to help with a building project. The project entailed building a school for disabled children. If one is physically or mentally diminished in the Bahamas, he or she is not admitted to the public school system.  The proposed mission trip offered Mike an opportunity to fly to the Islands and work for a great cause. He graciously accepted.

The mission group started with $5,000 --  enough money to poor the cement foundation for the new school. Mike arrived on day two of the mission and flew into March Harbor.  In minutes he was at the job site. He changed his shoes and started pulling wet cement, helping to complete the slab for the new school...

Read the story in Mike's own words ...

Karate-do: My way of Life by Vanessa Bibeau
Karate-do My Way of Life is an autobiography of Gichin Funakoshi. His story describes his childhood to his adulthood and the role that karate had in his life. It is an inspirational story that highlights the benefits karate has had on Gichin Funakoshi and allows readers to view karate in a new perspective apart from just striking and kicking. Gichin Funakoshi’s narrative gave me insight into his outlook on life and more importantly the situations that shaped him as an individual.

Gichin Funakoshi dedicated his life to karate-do and was born in 1868 in the district of Yamakawa-cho. He relates nearly all aspects of life to karate. He begins his autobiography by discussing his weak and sickly health as a child. By adulthood, Funakoshi’s health improved as a direct result of karate-do. The teachers taught Gichin Funakoshi not only karate but lessons on life. Master Azato and Master Itosu led by example. These masters had a huge effect on Gichin Funakoshi’s karate skills and character. They represented humility, modesty and never showed petty jealousy. These qualities became part of Funakoshi’s personality as shown in the preface when he says, “I must ask my readers to forgive me for speaking of such inconsequential matters.” Gichin Funakoshi did not believe in separate schools for karate-do because he wanted to prevent classification of karate. He took in new information from every situation he encountered. While in the potato field chasing away a dangerous snake, he discovered a lesson on karate. Also, he learned not to act too quickly from the confrontation he had with the men working in the village with awamori.
Throughout Gichin Funakoshi’s autobiography, he touches on the history of karate like its origin and the practices during his era. Funakoshi shows the meanings of certain words by translating parts of a word into Japanese. There was a time when it was illegal to teach karate-do. There were no dojos and no instructors. Then karate-do became part of the school curriculum. Gichin Funakoshi informs readers of historical events and figures. For example, he talks about Admiral Rokuro Yashiro, the Imerial Navy’s First Fleet, Admiral Dewa, and the prince’s visit to Okinawa. Also, Funakoshi uses quotes from Yukio Togawa to describe a devastating typhoon that destroyed large parts of Okinawa.

Anyone can relate to Gichin Funakoshi’s autobiography because it is a story about life. It is not only a story about his life in particular but a story about karate-do and the shaping of an individual. I find many ways that I can relate to Karate-do My Way of Life but the most similar connection I made to Gichin Funakoshi was how karate was more than just a sport. Karate has always been more than striking, punching and kicking. Vero Beach Karate Association has molded me physically and mentally. I have gained a better way of thinking and more manners than my peers at school who have not been a part of the karate lifestyle. I feel more prepared to enter the real world because of all the lessons I have learned at Vero Beach Karate Association. This association is family oriented and includes enrichment programs to make the children who attend karate better individuals. One of the best programs is the summer camp at VBKA that I attended when I was much younger. Now that I work at a different camp, I can clearly see the advantages of attending the VBKA Summer Camp. The children at VBKA are well-behaved and are taught more important skills than at any other summer camp. I remember learning proper dating etiquette from Mr. Willis and proper table manners from Mrs. Watkins. Karate has made me a better person mentally and I can thank karate for paving a bright path for my future.
Vero Beach Students "Shine" in Sunshine State Games
Fl Sunshine State Games

The Florida Comets 4th & 5th Grade boys from Vero Beach traveled to Gainesville, Florida to compete in the Sunshine State Games on May 21- 23. They lost their very first game Saturday morning by 4 points to the Old Town Glory Rockets of Gainesville. After winning their next two games, they were slated to a rematch in the championship game beating the Old Town Glory Rockets 36-20 for the Gold.

Three of the team members are VBKA students.  Riley Minix is a Purple Belt, Zack Minix is a Brown Belt, and Wells Fournie is a Brown Belt.

Dana Pederson Places Second in 2010 VBHS Beauty Walk

Dana has been a member of VBKA since she was a young girl.  She was on the Children's Demonstration Team for many years.   She is a Second Degree Black Belt and assists Mrs. Zeran at the Oslo Location.  She also helps with the TNT Group during VBKA Camps and is a member of the Birthday Party Team. 

Dana recently claimed second place in the
VBHS Beauty Walk out of 42 competitors. 
Kyle Arango receives "Student of the Month Award"
Gifford Middle School  •  VBKA Black Belt

Kyle has been recognized for outstanding achievement in Citizenship for the school year of 2009 to 2010.

He was awarded this recognition on March 26, 2010.

We applaud you too Kyle!


Cassidy Arango receives "A Kid of Character" Award
Age 8  •  VBKA Green Belt

Cassidy attends the
Imagine School

and was recently recognized
for her "outstanding respect."


We are so proud that Cassidy is a member of our VBKA family!


Thank you for
making respect
an important
part of your
life Cassidy!

Keep up the
good work!!

2010 Disney Marathon -- Vero Beach Competitors

Near record low temperatures and freezing rain met runners participating in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events this past weekend. However, the cold temperatures did not prevent Disney from staging the largest Marathon Weekend since the event’s inception in 1994. Nearly 55,500 runners registered for one of the races over the weekend, making it one of the top two largest running events in the nation.

On Sunday, January 10th, approximately 24,000 runners toed the line for the 17th Walt Disney World Marathon. There was no precipitation for the 5:40am start, but the temperature was well below 30 degrees for a frigid start.  The raw weather put a damper on post-race festivities as runners quickly cooled down and did not stick around as the temps and sleet continued to fall.

Sunday's 26.2-mile race took the runners through Disney's four major theme parks, starting at 5:40 a.m. near Epcot.  In addition to Sunday's 26.2-mile marathon, the weekend featured a half marathon on Saturday as well as Disney's Kids Races on Friday and Saturday. There was also Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, which involved both running the half marathon on Saturday plus the marathon on Sunday.

Charity Plum (left), from Vero Beach, recorded a clock time of 6:17:12. She is the parent of Marcelo and Massimo Dimaggio. Marcelo (Age 5) is a white belt in Mark Wallach’s TNT class. Massimo (Age 7) is a green belt in Mr. Voyles’s Monday and Wednesday 4:00 children’s class.

Tracey Schafer (right), from Vero Beach, recorded a clock time of 4:56:55.  She is the parent of Logan Schafer (Age 8), a greenbelt in Mr. Voyles’s Monday and Wednesday 4:30 children’s class.


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