Brianna Faircloth is a typical 12-year-old girl in many ways. She attends school at West Pine Middle and will be beginning seventh grade in the fall. Her favorite subject is math, although she says it is not her best subject. When not in school and at karate lessons, she loves to draw. All in all, a typical 12-year-old. But we failed to mention one thing.

Brianna Faircloth is a Junior black belt in karate! And, she went from first class to black belt in just 22 months.

It all began as she was trying to find a solution to an issue that was bothering her. Brianna’s mother, Sherry Vredenburg, always worried about her in public and did not let her out of her sight. She told her, like most moms, that she needed to keep an eye on her to know she is safe. Brianna was none too happy about this but vowed to find a way to get a little more space.

One day they were at a festival, and she saw a karate demonstration. Brianna was immediately intrigued by it and shortly after took a class. From the first class she was completely committed to getting better and better at karate. Her mother even gave in a little and began to trust that Brianna could have a little more breathing room.


Brianna, with her parents, receiving the Intensity Commitment Award after being inducted into the American Freestyle Hall of Fame

“When she started the class, it was certainly to teach her how to protect herself. She has gone on to excel at karate. It really just comes natural to her. It is amazing to see her dedication and how far she has come,” said her mother, Sherry.

Brianna studies under Linda Lopez, with the Macon Martial Arts Academy. She takes classes 2 nights a week and usually comes early, so that she can help out in other classes before hers starts. She also attends various competitions within the district.

“Karate challenges every part of me. It challenges my body and helps me get fit, but it also challenges my mind. You have to get into the right mindset.  Along with it, comes a very calm soul,” said Brianna.

Brianna is already a superstar in the eyes of Zakhai Jones. Zakhai is in the toddler class at the Academy and already looks up to Brianna. He is not alone in that fact.


Brianna & Zakhia Jones

On June 9th, the American Freestyle Karate Association inducted Brianna into their Hall of Fame and awarded her the Intensity Commitment Award at their Annual Ceremony in Lynchburg, Va.

Write down the name Brianna Faircloth. Remember that name. We have a feeling you may be hearing it a lot. She has already proven that she has what it takes to succeed. It will be a pleasure to see where her journey takes her.

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