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Featured Infinity National Champion Noell Jellison

Female National Sport Karate Champion Competing With the Big Boys


By Brett Hart

On the verge of her 17th birthday, Noell Jellison is also approaching her 13th year of training in the martial arts, and it shows. Jellison, who's studied American Taekwondo, point fighting and sport karate under world champion Master Mike Welch at Infinity Martial Arts in Middleton, WI, recently competed at the Greatmats-equipped 2018 Infinity National Championships at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., where she won her division in Team Sync Forms, Musical Forms, Musical Weapons and Extreme Forms. She also placed second in traditional weapons and third in traditional forms.

Jellison particularly enjoys the Team Sync and Musical Forms.

''With sync you really get creative and not only worry about you, but staying in sync with your partner,'' she says. ''I love forms, and then adding music to the form adds to the performance.''

''My favorite part about martial arts isn't only the sport itself, but the people that do karate,'' Jellison added. ''I've met so many amazing people through this sport, and I know I can count on some of them whenever I need them the most.''

One of those people is fellow competitor Haley Glass, who not only competed against Jellison at the Infinity National Championships, but starred alongside her in the movie ''Logan'' as a fellow mutant kid.

''We met in 2013 when I started to first get into NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association), and she was in my division,'' Jellison said, noting that she competes at least once per month at local, national or international tournaments. ''As we went through more and more tournaments together, we became closer and closer. ... We roomed together at a lot of tournaments and always have had each others backs.''

Having a childhood aspirations of becoming a Power Ranger when her mom enrolled her in karate at the age of 4 due to her small stature, landing a role on ''Logan'' was a dream come true.

Luckily for Jellison, one of the parents from the NASKA circuit offered up Noell's name to some movie talent scouts, and after some research on YouTube and a call to Master Welch, the scouts eventually called her in - as they were looking for kids 5'1'' or shorter that could do stunts and play as mutant kids.

''I was so excited to see what it was like to go into a movie, what they do, and how everything gets done behind the scenes,'' she said. ''I've always wanted to get into some acting and stunt work. ... When she (Haley) got into Logan, it was awesome to know that I got to go through this process with someone like Haley who I look to as a younger sister.''

As for competing against her ''younger sister,'' Jellison said that is both challenging and fun.

''She is one of my top competitors,'' she said. ''We're pushing each other to our best. She is one of my best friends. ... We don't let the competition ruin anything or our friendship. We congratulate each other, and are happy for each other.''

Jellison is proud of the fact she and Haley are taking on a male-dominated sport head-on.

''My goal in martial arts, is really to show that girls can be just as good as the boys - if not better,'' she said.
Noell Jellison
Infinity Martial Arts
Middleton Wisconsin 53562
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