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Central California Life Magazine

Cen Cali Heroes: Fresno 13-Year-Old Achieves Junior Black Belt, and She Feels Like a Million Bucks

Aug 03, 2016 03:47PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Just turning 5 Mary was still too young to join the Karate Kids group so Pacific Martial Arts created a red, white and blue belt just for her and has been the only one in PCA history to earn it.

Mary Topoozian recently earned her junior black belt at the age of 13. After 11 solid years of rising up the ranks, Mary joined her brother, Mark, in the junior black belt club. Mary has some high hopes for her future, and is excited to start high school in the Fall while continuing to work towards her adult black belt.  

July 16, 2016; Mary Topoozian
earns her junior black belt.

We were able to get in touch with Mary and learn more about her exciting achievement. 

Congrats on the accomplishment, Mary! How long have you been practicing karate?

MT: I started karate when I was 2 1/2 years old as a little ninja along with my big brother Mark. My mom said we had too much energy so karate helped us release some of our energy along discipline, focus, coordination and respect you learn while doing karate. At the age of 5 I had to break 1 board with my foot to earn my little ninja black belt.  So my journey continued and my goal was to earn my junior black belt before I entered high school. 

How long did it take you to get a black belt?

MT: It took be 11 years to achieve my goal. 

How did achieving the black belt make you feel? 

MT: Achieving my black belt made me feel like a million bucks. It's a goal I've worked very hard for. All the years of tears, sweat, bruises, time and hard work paid off to reach this goal. 

What do you plan on doing next? 

MT: I am continuing my karate so by the age of 16 I would be eligible to test for my adult black belt. 

When you'd not working on getting your black belt, what else do you like to do for fun? 

I am starting Bullard High School and want to get involved in leadership, clubs, meeting new people, trying out for the tennis team, and volunteer at children's hospital and the California Armenian home. I will also continue karate to achieve my adult black belt before I turn 16 and also help my sister Macyn achieve her black belt by next year. 

A Note From Mom: By next year when Macyn  earns her black belt, Mark, Mary, and Macyn will have all earned their junior black belts.

Way to go, Mary! 

Do you know someone who has accomplished something that we should highlight as our next Cen Cali Hero? Let us know by contacting us.