Brianna Luman: getting a kick out of martial arts

By Greg Hart
Sports editor

Twelve year old Chester resident Brianna Luman is headed to Ireland in August for the World Martial Arts Games.  The Green Mountain Middle schooler has been training hard and fundraising for the competition in Dublin where she will compete with athletes from more than 60 countries.

Brianna Luman, of Green Mountain Middle School, is martial arts black belt who is heading to Ireland in August to compete./ Photos by Greg Hart.

Brianna Luman, of Green Mountain Middle School, is martial arts black belt who is heading to Ireland in August to compete./ Photos by Greg Hart.

Martial arts requires discipline at any level but to reach the status of Black Belt also dedication and lots of time.  Brianna began training at the age of 6 with Master Huzon Alexander, a fifth degree black belt and owner of Alexander’s Martial Arts in Londonderry. “Her dad got her started,” says Brianna’s mother Angela. “We thought it might help her get more focused in school.”

Mission accomplished.

By all accounts she is a good student, both in school and in the studio having earned High Honors in her first three marking periods and becoming a promising instructor at Alexander’s. Despite her age, she shows patience and demands respect serving as a Mighty Mites instructor two days a week and as an assistant instructor in the after school class on Tuesdays at CAES.  Mom says, “Brianna loves teaching and hopes to open her own Do Jo (school).”

Brianna’s dedication to the sport was evident early on. “When she decided to stop doing ballet and focus more on Tae Kwon Do, that was a big decision for a young person,” Alexander said.  That dedication shows no sign of abating as her schedule is now packed with martial arts.  As a student, Brianna trains daily for about a half hour as well as one hour classes two to three times a week.

And then of course there are competitions throughout New England on the weekends. Brianna competes in as many as 15 of tournaments a year.  “Even after all these years she still gets nervous before pretty much every tournament,” Angela says. Nerves aside, Brianna qualified for a spot at the World Martial Arts Games with a Top 4r placing at a tournament in Maine earlier this year, and she currently holds a first place ranking in forms and weapons for both IPPONE (which sanctions competitions in New England) and Twin State Martial Arts (covering Vermont and New Hampshire).

Having earned a spot on the team, Brianna now is raising the nearly $2,500 in travel expenses and fees to compete. In addition to placing collection cans at Lisai’s Market, Jiffy Mart, Sunoco and the Country Girl Diner, Brianna and her family also held a combination car wash/yard sale at CAES recently.  “We may do one more fundraiser, possibly another car wash,” Angela says.  Mother and daughter will be in Ireland for about a week, competing for three days and joining other competitors for some sightseeing including dinner at a castle.

Brianna’s interests also include swimming and biking and she is also learning to sew and bake.  She also makes a monthly trek north to Essex Vermont to volunteer with the Shriners bingo event.  But martial arts clearly comes first.   “I like to train and I like to compete,” says Brianna. “I’m very competitive.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: FeaturedPeopleSports News

About the Author: Chester native Greg Hart is a 1985 graduate of Green Mountain Union High School. He earned his bachelor of Science at the University of Vermont and returned to the Chester area in 1994 to start a business and a family. He lives in Chester, owns Blue Sky Trading Co. in Ludlow and is the proud father of three. He can be reached at

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.