When he was little, Johnnie Kari was an enthusiastic and determined karate fighter.
But when his father died, the little boy began to miss his father.
He didn’t feel like getting involved in sports anymore.
That’s when Johnnie went to live with his aunt in Los Angeles.
It was a rough time, but Johnnie was determined to get back into karate and was determined not to let his life end like his father’s.
“The one thing I’m really proud of is that when I got back, I felt like I was ready,” Johnnie said.
He started taking lessons and was getting good grades in school.
“I was a kid.
I was a lot like my father,” he said.
“So I was like, ‘I can’t wait to start fighting again.'”
In 2004, Johnie started training at the legendary Johnnie Karate Gym in Los Santos.
He moved into a different room with his uncle, who also trained at the gym.
“We just wanted to make it a little bit more special and a little less like I did with my dad,” he recalled.
But it wasn’t until Johnnie’s junior year that he realized his passion was not going to die with him.
“You know, you have a lot of responsibility in your life, and a lot more,” he explained.
Johnnie trained for about three years.
“And it was kind of like, okay, I’m just going to do my thing.
I’m going to just do this for my life.
I don’t want to be a professional wrestler anymore.
I want to do something that’s just for me,” he laughed.
John was ready to make the jump to the professional level.
He signed with the WEC as a junior welterweight.
And by that time, he had already been a part of the UFC.
“My dad was a very hard worker, but I had a lot to offer,” he told CNN.
In 2009, John was signed to fight in the UFC’s lightweight division.
John did well in the tournament, but was still competing with the UFC for the title.
But, as the years passed, John became more and more disillusioned with the sport.
“In all honesty, I would have loved to have stayed in the sport, but it just didn’t work out for me for a lot longer than I thought,” he admitted.
In the end, he finally decided to leave the UFC after only three fights.
John began to train at his own gym in Orange County, California, and was able to stay with his family.
He trained at his uncle’s gym for a while, but eventually moved to California to live in Los Gatos.
But in February 2011, he and his mother, Stephanie, moved to Texas to start working full-time in the construction industry.
John started working full time at the local Wal-Mart.
“They were a little surprised that I was working so hard, and they thought it was a little weird,” John said.
John had no problems in the work.
“It was very nice to be able to do that, and it just felt great to be doing it.
And it was nice to just work out and be able do that,” he added.
And, at the end of the day, John decided that he wanted to focus on his family and not his career.
John went back to his old school, the Orange County College of the Arts.
And he started to learn more and become a better karate instructor.
“He started to really start focusing on his work,” Stephanie said.
But now, the focus has changed.
John has become a master at karate.
In 2013, John went on a trip to Japan to train for his next fight.
“When I left, I was kind, like, oh, I have no idea where I’m headed.
I had no idea how far I was going to take this, but now I have a very clear idea,” he reflected.
“That was the thing, it was like I had to have a plan.”
John said that he had no qualms about moving away from the gym and working full hours in his construction business.
“As soon as I was able, I had two more kids and a wife and I really had to get a break,” he continued.
John said he wanted his kids to have the same success as his father, but that they needed to work harder.
“Karate, like I said, is a great way to get over a lot and not to lose that,” John added.
“Because I know I have my own life.
And I want my kids to know that I’m the same person.
I just have a different job, and I want them to know I can be a great person and help them out, too.”