Cherokee teen coming ‘into her own’ with karate
Cherokee Nation citizen Raigyn Mayes, 15, trains in karate at Apollo’s Martial Arts in Tulsa. She holds a first-degree black belt and competes in the advanced division in her age group at Oklahoma Karate Association-sanctioned tournaments. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Raigyn Mayes spars with a classmate at Apollo’s Martial Arts in Tulsa. She is ranked No. 1 in point sparring in the Oklahoma Karate Association. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Raigyn Mayes, 15, kicks a classmate while training at Apollo’s Martial Arts in Tulsa. She began training at Apollo’s when she was 8. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Raigyn Mayes demonstrates her favorite form for competitions. To represent her Cherokee heritage, Mayes wears the CN seal on the back of her gi during competitions. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Raigyn Mayes wants to earn a second-degree black belt in karate as well as to go to the 2019 World Congress of Martial Arts and Traditional Martial Sciences Association championship. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TULSA – Cherokee Nation citizen Raigyn Mayes is a first-degree black belt who competes in Oklahoma Karate Association tournaments and is ranked No. 1 in the state for point sparring.
She was 8 years old when she started karate lessons at Apollo’s Martial Arts in Tulsa.
“I felt that maybe I might need to protect myself one day, so I felt that karate would be a good thing to start,” she said.
Now 15, she competes in the advanced category of her age division in OKA-sanctioned tournaments statewide. She also competes in non-sanctioned tournaments and surrounding states.
However, she wasn’t always the confident and outgoing girl you see today. Her mother, Laurie Mayes, said she believes karate helped her daughter “come into her own.”
“She was really shy when she was little, so I think this has really helped her. She has really grown as a person and she is probably a lot more mature than some of the kids her age, and I think a lot of that is do to some of the life skills she has been taught here. The confidence, self respect and respect for other people,” Laurie said.
Although she’s only been competing for a year, Raigyn has risen to the top in her division, placing first in point sparring at OKA’s first 2018 tournament in January.
“It felt really great to win, especially because last year was my very first year with tournaments, so it really boosted my self confidence a little bit since it was my first tournament of the year,” she said. “It really was a great start, and it really set me forward from my goal.”
Raigyn competes in two categories, sparring and forms. In the sparring category, the goal is to aim for target areas on an opponent such as the stomach or the sides of the head. Two points are given for kicking, and one point is given for punching the target areas. Forms are a series of movements with each movement serving a purpose such as blocking, striking or kicking. To receive points the forms have to be executed perfectly.
At the end of the year, points earned are tallied up to determine an OKA champion for each category. She said one of her goals is to be named the point sparring champion. Another goal is to earn a second-degree black belt and to go to the World Congress of Martial Arts and Traditional Martial Sciences Association championship in January. Mayes received an invitation to the WCMA/TMSA championship on March 3 during an OKA tournament.
She also said she’s proud of her Cherokee heritage and shows it by wearing the CN seal on the back of her gi, which is the uniform she wears while competing.
“I felt that it was good to embrace my Cherokee heritage in karate because most people don’t see that I am Cherokee, so I feel that it is good to bring that out in my gi and just show everyone my heritage because I feel like there is strength with that, and I just want to have that strength with me,” she said.
ᏛᎵᏏ - ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Raigyn Mayes ᎠᎬᏱ- ᎢᎦᏘ ᎢᎦᏘ ᎬᎿᎨ ᎠᏓᏠᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏓᎪᏅᏗᎰᎢ ᎥᎿ Oklahoma Karate Association, ᏃᎴ ᏩᎦᎸᏂᏗᏴ ᏗᏎᏍᏗ ᎠᏥᎧ ᎥᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ Ꮎ ᎠᎵᏏᎾᏗᎲᎢ ᏓᏟᎲᎢ.
ᏣᏁᎳ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏎ ᏧᎴᏅᎲ ᏤᏆᏂᏏ ᎤᎾᎵᏗ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ ᎥᎿ Apollo’s Martial Arts, ᏛᎵᏏ.
“ᎡᎷᏊ ᏢᏴ ᎠᏩᏓᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎥᎨᎵᏍᎬ, ᏤᏆᏂᏏ ᎤᎾᎵᏗ ᏯᏩᏕᎵᏆ ᎣᏏᏊ ᏱᎩ ᎤᏪᎵᏒ.” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.
ᏃᏊ ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᏃᎴ ᏓᏓᎪᏅᏗᎰ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎦᏟᏌᏅᎯ ᎥᎿᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᏰᏗ ᎢᏳᏓᏛ ᎥᎿ OKA -ᏧᏄᎦᏓᏅ ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ ᏂᎦᎥ ᏍᎦᏚᎩᎢ. ᏃᎴ ᏓᏓᎪᏅᏗᎰᎢ ᏂᏗᎨᏒᎾ ᏧᏄᎦᏓᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏤᏍᎦᏂ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎢ.
ᎠᏎᏃ Ꮭ ᎰᏩ ᏳᏓᏙᎯᏳᎯᏎᎢ ᏃᎴ ᎠᏓᎦᏛᎯᏙᎯ ᏱᎨᏎᎢ, Ꮎ ᏃᏊ ᏥᎪᏫᏘ ᎪᎯᎦᏥᎩ. ᎤᏥᏃ, Laurie Mayes, ᎰᏩ ᎡᎵᏍᎪ Ꮎ ᎤᏪᏥ ᏤᏆᏂᏏ ᎤᎾᎵᏗ ᎤᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙᎴ “ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏓᏩᏛᎲᎢ.”
“ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏕᎶᎰᏏᏓ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏧᏍᏗᎬᎢ, ᎥᏍᎩᎾᏃ ᎨᎵᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏍᏕᎵᎯᏙᎴᎢ. ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏛᏎ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎡᎷᏊ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏛᏒ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᏂᏐ ᎡᏧᎳᎭ ᏧᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᏃᎴ ᎢᎨᎵᏍᎦ Ꮎ ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᏄᏛᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎢᏒᎢ. Ꮎ ᎤᏬᎯᏳᏐᎢ, ᏗᎦᎸᏉᏗᎲ ᎠᏂᏐ ᏴᏫ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Laurie.
ᎠᏎᏃ, ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏱᎪᎯᏓ ᏓᏓᎪᏅᏗᎰᎢ, Raigyn ᎦᏳᎳ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎤᎷᏨᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎤᏤᎵ ᎠᏰᏗ ᎢᏳᏓᏛ, Ꮟ ᎠᎬᏱ ᏄᏍᏗᏕᎦ ᎠᎵᏏᎾᏍᏗᎲᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏗᏎᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᎲ ᏓᏟᎲᎢ Ꮎ OKA’s ᎠᎬᏱ 2018 ᎠᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏅ ᎧᎸᎢ.
“ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅ ᏣᏩᏓᏠᏒ, ᏟᏕ Ꮎ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎠᎬᏱ ᏓᏩᎨᎵᏛᏅ ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ, ᎤᏙᎯᏳᏃ ᎤᎵᏌᎵᏓᏅ ᎠᏆᏙᎯᏳᏒᎢ, ᎾᎮᏃ ᎥᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᎬᏱ ᎠᏩᏁᎵᏓᏅ ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ Ꮎ ᎠᏕᏘᏱᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ. “ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏩᎴᏅᎲᎢ, ᏃᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏩᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᏩᎩᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᏩᎩᎵᏐᎵᏍᏓᏅᎢ.”
Raigyn ᏔᎵ ᏓᏖᎸᏍᎪᎢ ᏗᎦᏟᏌᏅᎯ, ᎠᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏓᏅ ᏓᏓᏂᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏓᏅᏏᏓᏍᏗ. Ꮎ ᎠᎵᏏᏂᏗᎲ ᏓᏓᏂᎲᎢ ᎦᏟᏌᏅᎯ, ᎾᎮᏃ ᎠᎵᏐᎵᏙᏗ ᎭᏢ ᎩᎶ ᏩᎬᏂᏍᏗ, Ꮎ ᎤᏍᏉᏟ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᏛ ᎠᏍᎪᎵ. ᏔᎵ ᎠᏂᏅᏍᎪ ᏳᏓᏯᎾᏖᏌ ᎠᎴ ᏌᏊ ᏯᏂᏅᎦ ᏳᏓᏛᏂᎳ ᎥᎿ ᏗᏑᏰᏓ ᏳᏚᏓᏛᏂᎳ. ᏙᏛᏂᎵᏙᎲ ᎥᎿ ᎣᏓᏅᏏᏙᎲ ᏃᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᎠᏓᎵᏍᏚᏙᏗ, ᎠᏓᏛᏂᏍᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏯᎾᏖᏍᏗ. ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᏲᏛᏁ, ᎩᎳ ᏯᎾᏓᏅᏏ, ᏗᏎᏍᏗ.
ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏃᏊ ᏳᎵᏍᏆᏓ, ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᏂᏅᏅ ᏱᏓᏂᏟᏌ, ᎾᎯᏳ ᏯᎾᏕᎶᎰᎯ ᎧᎪ OKA ᎤᏓᏌᏅᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏗᎦᏟᏌᏅᎯ. ᏌᏊ ᎤᎵᏐᎵᏓᏅ ᎨᏒᏊ Ꮎ ᎤᏓᏒᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᎲ ᏓᏓᏛᏂᎲᎢ. ᏐᎢᏃ ᎤᎵᏐᏍᏛᎢ ᎤᏁᏍᏗ ᏔᎵᏁ- ᎬᎿᎨ ᎢᎦᎢ ᎢᎦᏘ ᎠᏓᏠᏍᏓ, ᏃᎴ ᏭᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᎥᎿ World Congress Ꮎ Martial Arts ᎠᎴ Traditional Martial Science Association ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏣᎴᏂᏍᎪ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏅ ᎧᎸᎢ. Mayes ᏃᎴ ᎠᎦᏛᏛᏅ ᎤᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎥᎿ WCMA/TMSA ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ ᎠᏅᏱ ᏦᎢᏁ ᎾᎯᏳ OKA ᏓᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᎲᎢ.
ᏃᎴ ᎤᎸᏉᏙ Ꮎ ᎤᏤᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏱᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ CN ᎠᏐᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏄᏮᏃ ᎣᏂᏗᏢ ᏧᏄᏬ Ꮎ Ꮵ, ᎾᎯᏳ ᏱᏓᏓᎪᏅᏗᎭ.
“ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏐ ᎠᎩᏂᏴᏒ ᎠᏆᏤᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏱᏛᏁᎵᏍᏓᏍᏗ ᎥᎿ ᏣᏆᏂᏏ ᎤᎾᎵᏗ, ᎾᎮᏃ Ꮭ ᎰᏩ ᏴᏫ ᎬᎩᎪᏫᏘᎰ ᏥᏣᎳᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎥᏍᎩᎾᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏙ Ꮎ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎾᏮᏅ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏆᏤᎵ Ꮵ ᏃᎴ ᏴᏫ ᎬᏥᎪᏩᏛᏂᏙᎰᎢ ᎠᏩᏤᎵ ᏱᎦᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ, ᎥᎿ ᎨᎵᏍᎪ ᎠᏩᏟᏂᎬᏍᏗᎰᎢ, ᎠᎴ Ꮎ ᎤᏟᏂᎩᏓ ᎥᏍᎩ ᎾᏮᏁᏍᏗ.” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.