Martial Artist Nikolas Charalambides Excels


Immersing himself in a world of discipline, self-improvement, and extreme physical strain, sophomore Nikolas Charalambides has, for nearly nine years, demonstrated what it truly means to strive for excellence in all aspects of one’s life. Nikolas attributes his determination and character to his martial arts training, of which he has been recognized at both the state and national level throughout his tenure of competition.

“I began training in second grade, but I didn’t begin to think about competition seriously until the 5th grade when I was told by my instructors that they thought I would do well. I actually began to compete in the 6th grade after I had gotten my first black belt,” he said.

It is not only competitions that drive Nikolas to succeed, however, as he has spent his time as a martial arts student growing stronger not only physically, but mentally as well. Discipline, focus, confidence and an understanding of himself have been key areas upon which he has worked to improve, with his success in each area surprising even his most senior instructors.

“One of my favorite things about karate is that it’s focused on self-discipline and self-improvement, both physically and mentally. It really comes down to pushing yourself to do better at all times,” he said.

Nikolas’s determination in bettering himself hasn’t been overlooked by others. He won the Texas state championship for martial arts in Weapons Forms performing with two Katanas, the traditional Samurai swords, in 2014, as well as in Creative Empty Hand Forms and Sparing within the 14-15 year old bracket. He has also competed at the world championships in Nevada twice, winning 1st place in Weapons Forms and also 1st place in Creative Kata Forms performance within the 13-14 year old age bracket during his first appearance in 2013. The following year, he was one of five martial artists chosen as a top competitor from among 300, and also received one of the two total scholarships given that year. Additionally, Nikolas holds a third degree black belt in American Style martial arts and is working on his second third degree black belt in Korean Style martial arts. Yet these outstanding achievements have not stopped him from pushing himself even further. Currently, he is reaching toward new heights seemingly unreachable by someone of his age.

“At the moment I’m working toward getting my 3rd degree black belt and earning the title of Sensei. One requirement to earn the title is that you must have students you’ve taught who are doing well in competition, which I’ve been lucky enough to have happen recently,” he said.

Along with his immense success in the martial arts, Nikolas has made sure to apply what he has learned directly to his own life and future, which he is confident will lead him to accomplish whatever he sets his mind to.

“Overall martial arts have taught me discipline and focus as well as to not use any problems I may have or face as a crutch. I know now that if I work hard enough I can be successful in any situation regardless of any setbacks I may face,” he said.