She is small, but mighty. Kenzie Johnson recently won two state champion titles as a first degree black belt in Taekwondo.

She has been intensely training for this moment for five years. The first time she made it to the state championship tournament she lost. “(It) makes me feel proud of myself and how I achieved a goal I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

Kenzie, 11 years old, is a sixth grader at Payne Elementary school. She trains at Cabeen’s Dupont Taekwondo studio in Fort Wayne.

Her mom, April Johnson, is a Program Director and an instructor at the studio. April and Kenzie started together and trained side by side until April earned her Black Belt and started instructing.

“Its an amazing feeling to be able to train together with my little girl in a sport that we both love!” April stated.

Kenzie’s little brother recently started training and has successfully earned his black belt April proudly stated.

Working together to learn the discipline of Taekwando has been quite the experience for Kenzie, especially. When asked if she liked doing it with them she exclaimed, “I love doing it with my mom and my brother!”

It is clear, though, that Kenzie is blazing a path for herself. Through her hard work, dedication and perseverance, she has quickly ascended through the ranks.

“When I first started it felt like it would take forever to reach black belt,” she explained.

To earn a state title a student must compete throughout the season at various tournaments in specific events.

For Kenzie, the majority of her tournaments were in South Bend and Fort Wayne. By accumulating enough points at each tournament she earned enough to win the state championship title in sparring and traditional form.

Sparring teaches a student how to fight with a live opponent – hand-to-hand combat. Traditional form teaches the student all the various traditional forms of Taekwando.

April says that Kenzie’s favorite event is sparring because, “she loves high kicks.”Kenzie enthusiastically agreed with her mom’s observation.

Kenzie now has the opportunity to compete at districts. She would compete against ten other competitors that hail from five other states.

If she wins at districts, she will have an opportunity to compete for the world title in Little Rock, Ark. Kenzie was enthusiastic about competing for it, but understands that it might not be feasible.

April beams with pride when she talks about Kenzie and her journey through Taekwando. Her pride is evident by the tone of her voice when she talks about her.

Kenzie expressed her gratitude to her mom and her instructor by saying, “Mr. Cadeem is really encouraging, he really helped me. My mom was really encouraging, too.”

She states that she doesn’t have any idea how long she will continue to do Taekwando, but “I will just keep doing it until I get tired of it.”

Not only is she dedicated to her training but “she is disciplined – she takes time do her homework. She goes and finds a quiet place to do her homework and gets it done. She is an A and B Honor Roll student,” April states.

Perhaps that discipline is precisely how she earned her two state titles. She most certainly has a bright future ahead.