Jessica Soper is the fiercest 10 year old you’ll meet. She has displayed incredible determination and self-discipline in the short time that she has practiced Tae Kwon Do martial arts at OMAC, Burlington. Jessica is a fine example of how consistent practice leads to achievement.

Interviewer: Do you remember your first day at OMAC?

Jessica Soper: Yeah… It was pretty cool, and when I came home, I got a blue tape, and my sister said, “You have a blue belt already!”. I said, “No it’s a blue tape it means kicking!”

Interviewer: So Jessica, you are now a brown belt. You started only 7 months ago. That’s a huge deal!

Jessica: Yeah!

Interviewer: What has kept you so motivated in this short time?

Jessica: A lot of dedication. Gymnastics helped me.

Interviewer: What have you learned in gymnastics that has helped you in taekwondo?

Jessica: My teachers in gymnastics kept on saying, “You can do this! You can do a back walkover! You can do this back handspring!” But I couldn’t do it. I kept on trying and finally got it.

Interviewer: So gymnastics helped you to learn that something can be really difficult at first but if you keep trying, you will be able to do it.

Jessica: Yeah.

Interviewer: What is something that was once challenging to you in taekwondo but is now easy?

Jessica: Kicking. Tornado kick is a lot easier than it used to be.

Interviewer: Do you feel like the things you’ve learned in taekwondo and gymnastics will help you outside of sports?

Jessica: If something, like a math question, seems impossible, I would figure it out eventually.

Interviewer: Is there anything that has changed in your life since you started taekwondo?

Jessica: Probably the relationship with my sister. We used to fight, like, all the time and now it’s only sometimes.

Interviewer: What’s your favourite thing you’ve learned here at OMAC Burlington?

Jessica: Probably patterns, because I really like patterns. They’re fun.

Interviewer: Gymnastics is a really different way of moving your body than practicing taekwondo. Was it a challenge for you to learn a new way to move?

Jessica: Yes. But now it’s easy.

Interviewer: Taekwondo can help some people feel better when they feel upset. Have you ever come to class after a bad day and felt happier when you finished practicing?

Jessica: Yeah, I do feel like that sometimes.

Interviewer: Why did you sign up for taekwondo martial arts?

Jessica: Because I was bullied in school.

Interviewer: Has taekwondo helped you?

Jessica: Yeah, A LOT of self-confidence.

Interviewer: That’s really great. So now your bully knows not to mess with Jessica because she’s a brown belt.

Jessica: *laughs* yeah

Interviewer: Jessica you practice at home too, right?

Jessica: Yes! All the time. I am always practicing my patterns so that I can maybe get a black tape in taekwondo.

Interviewer: When you started at white belt, were you already thinking “black belt”?

Jessica: Yes!

Interviewer: Awesome. I have no doubt in my mind that you will achieve black belt and be great!

Jessica: Yay!

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