Local karate student excels at martial art

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 21, 2002


LAPLACE – If you think that karate can only be mastered by actors and stuntmen in Hollywood, think again.

Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan are not the only masters of the martial arts. In fact, there are up-and-coming martial arts experts at the LaPlace Academy of Martial Arts.

One of them is Brother Martin High School student Ryan Guillot. The 17-year-old LaPlace resident recently tested and received his second-degree black belt.

“I worked hard to get to this point. I basically stuck with it and was rewarded,” said Guillot.

Sacrifice was an important part of Guillot’s achievement. He trained all summer and even traveled to Kentucky for a tournament.

Among the 2,000 competitors, Guillot came in first place in the weapons competition and third in sparring. By receiving his first-degree black belt, he earned a blue uniform and was named team captain. The uniform students wear has stars on it that symbolize achievements outside of the local academy.

“The blue stars are earned when a person has all ‘A’s’ in school. The red stars are earned when someone receives all ‘A’s’ and ‘B’s,'” said Renee Babineaux, an employee at the academy. “It just gives the kids something to shoot for.”

The competition Guillot competed in was considered “open style,” which meant that everyone was welcome. The other type, called “closed style,” means that everyone competes against other members of the class.

The six types of belts are white, orange, green, blue, brown, and black.

“Ryan is one of most dedicated young men I have been around,” said Master Guillis Cure, Guillot’s instructor. “He has everything that a karate master needs to succeed.”

Dedication is indeed a strong characteristic of Guillot. He said the only time he missed practice was when he went on vacation for a few days. Guillot believes that some people are mistaken about what karate is used for.

“It is not something that you are supposed to use when you want to get violent,” he said.

The master said it is good to start learning the sport at an early age.

“The earlier the better,” Cure said. “That way they will have learned it before they are grown-ups.”

The fourth-degree black belt master said he stresses three reasons why karate is important in life.

“Confidence, honor and self-control are needed if you want to be good at this,” Cure said.

Guillot said he will continue to compete and learn the sport as long as he can. He said, if nothing else, karate is an excellent way to stay in shape.

According to Cure, the goal Guillot has set for himself is to become “the highest quality martial artist.”

he can possibly be.