Athlete of the Issue: Vahe Minasian


Garrett Hallinan

Soccer, football, basketball, and baseball are some of the most common sports a teenage boy plays. It is rare that someone says his main sport is karate, but for years this was the case for Senior Vahe Minasian.

Since Minasian’s earliest days, he grew up doing karate. Although he no longer participates in the sport, he is still grateful for all that it has done for him.

“[Karate] has really developed me into the person that I am today,” Minasian said. “In that, I am determined and very polite and kind in a sense.”

Two of the biggest principles of karate are self discipline and respect. Minasian learned these lessons at a young age.

“It taught me to control myself in certain situations,” Minasian said. “I don’t want to inflict any pain. It is more of an art than it is fighting.”

Minasian looked up to the older students in the program.

“When I was in grade school, these two guys who were also in my school were doing it,” Minasian said. “When I was in fifth grade, they were in eighth grade. I would look up to them and they would help me develop, and today I am still friends with them.”

At Malvern, there are students who have been interested in Minasian’s karate abilities.

“[Minasian] told me that he has a second degree black belt,” Senior Kosta Hionis said. “He showed me a lot of karate positions and pressure points, and it was pretty cool.”

Hionis was surprised that Minasian engaged in karate.

“When I first met him, I felt like he was one of the kids who was laid back and gentle,” Hionis said. “I don’t think I could ever see him doing karate because I see someone who does karate as tenacious.”

On the other hand, it wasn’t surprising to Senior Chris Kapikian that Minasian was so advanced in this sport.

“He told me he loved doing it,” Kapikian said. “[Karate] is great for a young person. It made him mature and he learned a lot, including respect and etiquette.”

In addition to learning more on these teachings, Minasian was taught some defensive fighting techniques.

“My favorite move is called a hip throw, which is one of the easier moves to do,” Minasian said. “But if you really do it right, it can really hurt someone. It is basically if someone were to throw a punch at you, you could deflect it, wrap your hand around their waist, and flip them over very easily within a split second. It is one smooth motion, and it was my go to.”

Minasian practiced karate for 11 years. By the time he was 15, he decided to switch gears.

“I stopped doing karate two years ago because I decided to focus on hockey only,” Minasian said.

However, karate is still in his plans for the future.

“Once I am in college, I won’t be playing hockey,” Minasian said. “I want to do something else, so it will probably be some form of mixed martial arts.”

For Minasian, karate helped form a balance in his everyday life.

“I like how I am today,” Minasian said, “I am very determined and always pushing myself physically. Hockey is a very intense sport and you always want to push yourself and fortunately karate did that for me mentally.”