Jori Zobel, Features editor

Walking down the hall of Powell’s Way of Kempo in Brookfield, people are wearing jewelry of all kinds. For Victor Mezera, however, his yellow jade bead necklace is so much more than a simple accessory.

On Tuesday and Thursday nights Mezera, a first degree black belt in Kempo Karate teaches students traditional Kempo Karate, basic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, basic boxing and self awareness.  Mezera has been teaching for over a year now.  He began teaching as a rite of passage, meaning that he pays respect to his master by teaching class and passing on the knowledge his master taught him.  Mezera  teaches classes for free out of respect for his master.

Mezera was born into a martial arts household.  His father was in martial arts and his father’s father was in martial arts.   Mezera’s fondest memory was when he was five years old, sparring with his master and being flipped on his head.  To this day, Mezera still makes time to train and attend adult classes before teaching class.  The difference for Mezera between training and teaching class is how to teach and explain martial arts to little kids without it being too difficult.  A student named Henry reminds Mezera of himself when he was younger because of his soft side and dedication to martial arts.

All the while, Mezera wears the same yellow jade necklace.  The yellow jade necklace is what keeps Mezera furthering himself in martial arts.  The necklace is from his father who gave it to him when Mezera first received his black belt.  The jade bead was given to his father from his father’s master, who once received the necklace from a Shaolin Monk.