Quest’s Black Belt of the month is John Stacy Vega, a 1st Dan Black Belt who’s currently training for his 2nd Dan promotion test this December. Little John, (as his mom calls him) has at a very early age set a goal for himself: Not just to be the youngest 2nd Dan Black Belt at Quest but also the youngest member of the Competition Team.
One can’t tell from the sweetness that exudes from Little John, that there’s a warrior’s fire burning within until you see him on the mat. This angelic face does not play the lyre, but he can deliver a quick powerful kick which creates its own music.
John, how old are you now and at what age did you start taekwondo? — “I am 8 years old. I started Taekwondo when I was 4 years old.”
What is it that you like about taekwondo and what is your ultimate goal as a taekwondo athlete? — “What I like most of Taekwondo is that it’s great exercise while learning to defend myself. My goal as a Taekwondo athlete is to become a second Dan Blackbelt.”
Tell us about a peak moment in taekwondo, one that you are especially proud of and will never forget. — “A peak moment for me was when I became a Blackbelt in December, 2018.”
In the tournaments you have competed in, what match stands out the most for you that you would consider as the most challenging one? — “My first competition I was 6 years old. It was the California Open in 2016, I was so nervous. I remember telling my parents I wanted to leave and not compete. I cried up until the sparring match started but somehow I overcame my fear and ended up winning Gold.”
Other than being an avid taekwondo martial artist please share with us your other accomplishments outside of taekwondo. — “Another accomplishment outside of Taekwondo was completing two years of religion classes and receiving my First Communion.”
What advice would you give a beginner student who wants to be a black belt someday? — “My advice to a beginner student is to always try your best, never give up no matter how challenging it may get. It’s the best feeling in the world when you become a Blackbelt.”
“A very wise advice from an 8 year-old”
What do you think is the advantage of being part of the Competition Team? — “I think the advantage of being on the Competition Team is that you continue learning advance techniques that are more useful in competitions.”
Having a sister who is also doing taekwondo, do you find yourself being competitive at home too? —“I am not competitive with my little sister. I am very happy that my sister is also doing Taekwondo. I really enjoy teaching her and watching her get better.”
“How adorable is this!”
What are your favorite things? — “My favorite things are playing video games, spending time with my family and playing baseball.”
How about pet peeves…what are things you just dislike? — “My biggest pet peeve is when someone thinks they’re better than other people.”
If you were a fictional character who or what would you be and why that character? — “I would like to be Spiderman because he constantly manages to overcome all challenges.”
Please finish this sentence: “Most people don’t know that … I’m almost 9 years and have NEVER had a cavity.”
If your friends and family were to describe you, what adjectives would they use? — “Caring, loving, creative and most of all funny.“
If there is one famous person you could spend the whole day with, who would that be, and what would you talk about? —“I would like to spend the whole day with John Cena and talk about all his wrestling matches.“
“It would be a John & John conversation”
What do you think is the most important thing that young people these days should learn as they’re growing up? — “I think young people these days should learn a form of Martial Arts to learn how to defend themselves.”
What words of wisdom can you share with other young people your age? — “To be respectful to everyone. To set a goal and accomplish it.”
Are there other things you want the readers to know about ‘JOHN VEGA” in this interview? — “When I was 6 years old I was a child model for a Toy Company.”
Last but not the least, who are the special people you want to thank for helping you develop your character and talent and for providing you with life-giving instructions? — “I would like to thank my mom, dad, my little sister, Master Vargas, Master Bobby, Miss Kamille and Master Gildo.”
Now that you know more about John — that he would like to spend the day with John Cena, that he likes playing video games, and that he would like to be Spiderman — that he’s just a regular, normal, fun-loving 8-year old… EXCEPT that he has never had a cavity!! That’s not just what’s super-normal about John; his smile is contagious and his sweet face can even make a stranger pay for his candy bar at the check-out counter. But above all, he has the gumption to go for what he wants and right now, that is to be a better taekwondo martial artist.
And the passion doesn’t end with John… It is such a delight to see the entire Vega family share the same passion and undoubtedly this saying holds true: “The family that kicks together, stands strong together!”
Visit us again next month for another “Up Close and Personal” with another fascinating Black Belt personality.
If you’re in the South Bay area, swing by Quest Taekwondo and watch these amazing young Black Belts and future Black Belts train. We have every taekwondo and fitness program to suit every age group and physical profile. Check out our home page for new promotions and offers.
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Until then… “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” ~ Bruce Lee