Martial Artist Hines developing more than skills


Littleton Upshur

Hines competing in the Music City tournament. (Photo Contributed by Sanchez Hines)

Sadie Rowell

Through constant training, years of sweat and countless bruises, senior Sanchez Hines learned Martial arts is not just about fighting; it is about building character.

This mentality inspired Hines to obtain the skills needed to perform on a nationwide scale. On Oct. 21 Hines will compete in the Diamond Nationals tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Though this path to compete nationally was not easy, it shaped him into the person he is today. 

“I hated it at first,” Hines said. His talent was apparent, but it wasn’t until around age 10 when he started to truly cherish it after receiving his black belt. 

Hines practices at North Star Martial Arts alongside his instructor, who has become his father figure over the years, Joe Schibanetz. Schibanetz cites a pivotal point in Hines’ life, failing his 1st-degree black belt test.

“Failure is life’s best teacher, ” Schibanetz says.

Focus, respect, and discipline are the three pillars that shape the mentality of Martial art, guiding Hines during hardships in his life. 

Quitting was never the answer for Hines. He came out on fire on the next test and received his belt.

“A nuclear bomb of Martial arts went off in him,” Schibanetz said. Watching this transformation in Hines has fulfilled his goals as an instructor and role model for his students.

Joe Schibanetz (left), and Sanchez Hines (right) pose for the camera at the Arkansas Open karate tournament. (Photo Contributed by Sanchez Hines)

Hines has played a big part in Schibanetz’s program ever since the age of four when his mom entered him in the Tiny Tigers program at the old Homewood rec center.

But, their relationship travels outside of the studio. As Schibanetz says, ” I truly couldn’t imagine my life without Sanchez. ” 

After spending time together eating, traveling and training, Schibanetz sees Hines’ good and bad sides.

“We are not perfect but if you come off the path, you can get back on. ” ”

— Joe Schibanetz

Everything Hines has learned from age four to 18 has been in preparation for tournaments he attends across the country.

Traveling to different cities is something Hines loves.

“My friend and I have a tradition of skating around the city we’re in,” Hines said.

But, Hines’s talent doesn’t stop on the stage. After seeing his friends serve as stunt doubles in the show “Cobra Kai,” Hines is inspired to expand his passion to new mediums.

Hines’s friends have taken karate to further extents than the gym, which opens the possibility of using his love of karate as a career in the future.