Top tier talent: Trinity Lutheran senior earns black belt


Adam Everroad got into karate to learn self-defense, but the more he learned, the more he became enthralled with the nuances of the sport.

Last week, the Columbus resident and Trinity Lutheran High School senior earned his black belt in karate, a feat not many who start out in the sport end up achieving.

“I wanted to kind of learn how to defend myself, and then I’ve always been fascinated with the martial arts,” Everroad said. “Fortunately, I’ve never had to use it (outside the gym), but I’m well-equipped if I need to.”

After achieving white, yellow, blue, green, purple and three degrees of brown belts, Everroad did his testing for the black belt last week at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club in Columbus. He has been taking karate since he was in preschool, most of it with Jason Gearhardt at TLAC.

“It has been a long process to get it,” Everroad said. “Then trying to do that around all the other sports I do has been a challenge. My instructor was very gracious and took some time from his weekends to do some one-on-one classes with him. Then I worked on it at home, and in the summer, I would do the normal classes. I’m very happy and very proud that all my hard work has paid off.”

Everroad, who attended St. Peter’s Lutheran School through eighth grade, played soccer and runs track and is involved in school plays and Academic Super Bowl at Trinity, where he is a high honor student. He credits karate with helping develop the discipline he needs to succeed in all aspects of life.

“It has definitely helped improve my hand-eye coordination, but it has also helped me deal with the mental aspects and balancing my time,” Everroad said.

The style of karate that Everroad takes is called Modern Arnis and does not feature competition. He said in the movie “The Karate Kid,” the style the combatants use is more taekwondo than karate.

“The crane kick that Daniel does is actually a yoga pose and impractical to use in karate,” Everroad said. “(Modern Arnis is) more of a self-defense style more than the offensive ones like taekwondo and jiu-jitsu and stuff like that.”

This fall, Everroad is planning to attend Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for pre-seminary studies. He wants to become a Lutheran minister.

“People always said I would be good at that, but the reason I wanted to do it is to see people’s spiritual growth,” Everroad said. “Being on that journey with them and seeing their spiritual growth is a wonderful thing. I’ve enjoyed studying the Bible through all the classes I’ve had.”

At college, Everroad plans to stay involved in karate, whether it’s finding a studio in Michigan or starting a group. He plans to go back to Gearhardt at TLAC when he is home on breaks and next summer to try to earn higher degrees of black belt.

“Every session or lesson, I come out learning something new, whether it’s a new move or new form or breakdown or move that I’d like to work on,” Everroad said. “I want to eventually teach what I’ve learned and help people defend themselves.”

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