He's not a black belt yet, but he has tested twice in seven months in his karate class and is moving up the ranks.
Isiah Lopez, 13, may have a tougher time than most learning karate from longtime sensei (karate instructor) Craig Garrett, but you would never know it.
Isiah has Down syndrome, a little mental retardation and ADHD, attention deficit hyper-disorder, according to his mother, Margarita Cabanillas. But he is an excellent karate student and is progressing right along.
"He is able to stay occupied, gets to relieve pressure and is able to focus on his behavior," Cabanillas said.
She has five children and three of them are enrolled in the karate class with Garrett.
"It's a great class for him, and I recommend it," she said.
Isiah has been taking karate in Arvin at the Bear Mountain Elementary School on Hood Street from Garrett for more than seven months.
He is currently still a white belt, but has already received two stripes after the last two tests he has taken.
During a class in December Lopez seemed to fully concentrate on his karate skills including much time spent sparring with other students.
"The experience with Isiah has caused me to look at the word 'normal' again," Garrett said. "I wished I had more students like Isiah.
"He's made me re-evaluate normality. I'd take five students like him in a heartbeat, because he does what he is asked to do," Garrett said.