EVART — As a cold winter morning swirls outside the large windows of Mozden’s Tae Kwon Do in Evart, two opponents stand facing each other, ready for an intense mock battle.

One is Jerry Mozden, a teacher of karate for over 20 years and veteran of competition.

The other is Chase Walter, a seventh grader of McBain Northern Michigan Christian School.

Having already achieved a black belt in another karate form, Tang Soo Do, Walter is no stranger to the arena. At only 12 years old, he has endured many tests of his achievement in karate and weapon work, earning almost a dozen different belt levels throughout his relatively short career.

“Chase always pays attention and does a good job,” said Mozden. “He always tries his best, which is how it should be.”

Walter even helps Mozden teach on a regular basis, knowledgeable in karate and other weaponry styles such as cane fighting, bow and arrow and stick combat.

Walter’s success in karate and weapon training only stands a as a testament, however, to his personal goals and philosophy. Along with being active in the community, Walter consistently achieves honor roll status, is involved in two different youth groups, has learned some components of a second language and has participated in local sports groups.

Among these achievements, Walter plans to test for a second black belt soon, this time in his Tae Kwon Do class.

“He really pushes himself,” said Nicole Walter, Chase’s mother.

Chase’s father, Jason Walter, agreed. “He knew his times tables in first grade,” he said. “He wants to be successful.”

Walter’s dedication to his academics and extra-curricular activities continuously fuels his love of learning. Even when he has free time, he enjoys being active and continuing to explore the world around him.

“I like to play learning games,” Walter said. “I like to do my homework, too. It helps you learn more about yourself. I also like to hunt and fish.”

Although the road to college lies far in the future, Walter has already begun thinking about his future job prospects.

“My favorite subjects are science and math. I want to become a lawyer or a physical therapist,” he said.

In a time of distracting technology and middle school drama, Walter’s outlook on life and his determination to become a successful student and citizen is refreshing and exceptional. His short-term goals also correlate well with his interest to continue his journey of learning.

“I would like to go to the Olympics to see actual karate fighting,” said Walter.

His advice to younger students aspiring to try and be successful at new endeavors is simple but empowering.

“Keep practicing and you will succeed,” he said.