Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014 Martial Artist Spotlight: Melinda Shankar

So every month we highlight a very diverse panel of individuals or groups that you may not know who are practitioners of martial arts.

With so many great types of martial arts, and so many talented individuals who have participated in the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of martial arts, would it surprise you if someone you may already know and admire just might be a martial artist?

If you're like us, you've sat back and watched the 13+ seasons of Degrassi. Who would've guessed one of my favorite characters on the show was a black belt in Karate.

So May we'd like to highlight Melinda Shankar, the actress most well known for playing Alli Bhandari on Degrassi.

Coming from an Indo-Guyanese background, she's one of the few South Asians were aware of that practice martial arts. Especially a woman.

Turns out her father owned a Karate school, has been practicing since she was 3 years old, and essentially everyone in her immediate family has earned a black belt, so it must be in her blood. 
At barely 5'3" she proves small things come in big packages. We also love that she isn't shy about the lack of South Asians that are prominent in the entertainment industry. Her longevity proves that she is here to stay, but will we ever get to see her skills in action?


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