A young Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member, 9-year-old Mathew Primeaux, has found that studying karate teaches discipline, which he puts to good use both in karate class and also at school and at home. The fourth-grader, who attends Lehi Elementary, began two years ago at De Palma’s Team USA Martial Arts in Mesa. According to his family, the karate class has taught Primeaux to strive for improved grades and a better attitude, and he has made new friends and lifelong skills.
He began like any other incoming student, with the lowest rank, a white belt. Over time he began to develop a love of karate. On June 25, Primeaux was awarded his purple belt, which moves him into the intermediate category. He now wears a red karate/judo uniform (called a gi) instead of the white one, and he’s excited because he gets to start training with weapons (staffs and practice weapons).
“The reason I go is for the exercises and it helps me to learn some defense moves,” said Primeaux. “My instructors help me out a lot with the different moves.”
Sparring is a favorite for Primeaux; this is where he can battle with his teammates putting their skills to work but not intending to hurt each other.
“I like putting on the gear, like the shoe gear and head gear,” said Primeaux.
“I started off as a Little Dragon a couple of years ago at De Palma and I am getting better at doing moves, but one move that is hard for me is the hook kick,” he said. The hook kick strikes with the heel from the side.
Karate is practiced for self-perfection, for cultural reasons, for self-defense and as a sport.
Name: Mathew Dale Primeaux
Family: Son of Stephanie Manning and Cleveland Primeaux, little brother to Devanie Duwyenie and big brother to Sienna Primeaux
Favorite Movie: Michael Jackson’s This Is It
Favorite Music: Michael Jackson
Favorite Karate Movie: Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury
Hobbies: Karate and swimming at Kino Jr. High’s pool
If you could be anything, what would it be? A superhero named Green Lantern
Favorite Food: Chicken nuggets and pizza