Fifth grader winning national titles for her karate skills

December 18, 2012 4:24:52 PM PST
The living space at Milan Armao's house converts into a dojo pretty quickly. It's a good thing too, because this is a little girl on a mission.

Eleven-year-old Milan has straight As, a black belt and a fierce kick.

"I like it because I like fighting," she said. "When I was little I used to watch WWE and stuff."

She is the youngest Houstonian to be certified a black belt by the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation, based in Japan.

Sensei Deddy Mansour said, "The youngest black belts usually are 14, 15, and she earned her first degree black belt at age 10 years old."

Even though she's in fifth grade, Milan is making herself known in some pretty big competitions.

She said, "In my kata, in my gankaku, in nationals, I won first place."

Her mom Jeannie Peng says Milan's passion for karate started when she was just seven years old.

"I sought out private instruction for her and she wanted to take it to the next level and she was willing to put in the commitment," Peng said.

Now kick after kick, punch after punch, she's a little ball of fury who is now setting her sights on international competition.

"I want to go to world someday soon and represent the USA," Milan said.

Right now her goals are getting a chance to train in Japan and an international competition in Venezuela. The gold medal at nationals wasn't her first. She also won a gold medal in competition in 2010.


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