Ariel Casas is just like any other student at Harlandale ISD. She goes to school, plays sports, and has to deal with being a freshman in high school. If you saw her, however, you probably would not know that she is also a fighter. The 15-year-old is a 2nd degree black belt at Mongoose Martial Arts.
This 4’11’’ Harlandale Indian weighs in only at 100 pounds but has been training in Martial Arts since the age of seven. Over the holidays, she had the opportunity to compete in Buffalo, New York at the National Black League Super Grands World Games XXIII and the Skil Amateur Internationals on.
At the NBL Super Grands, she placed in the following:
· 12-14 year old Girls' Featherweight Point Sparring - 4th
· 12-14 year old Girls' Featherweight Continuous Sparring - 6th
· 12-14 year old Female Hard Creative Form - 3rd
· 12-14 year old Female Hard and Soft Creative Weapons - 3rd (Her specialty weapons are Kamas.)
At the Skil Amateur Internationals, Ariel placed in the following:
· 12-17 year old Male/Female BlackBelt Weapons - 4th
· 14-17 year old Male/Female Blackbelt Creative Forms - 5th
· 12-14 year old Female Blackbelt Sparring - 3rd
Ariel plans on taking a break from Martial Arts competition to concentrate on her first season with the Harlandale HS Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team, but she plans on returning to competition later in the year. She wants to master new karate techniques and train harder since she will be moving up to a new division. Ariel says she wants to make it to the Super Grands in 2014 which, she hears, may be in Mexico City or Cancun.