CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Delaney Cook has practiced martial arts for a decade.
It’s an impressive amount of time because at age 13, she’s already an American Taekwondo Association World Champion in sparring.
“She’s a superstar from the very beginning,” said Lizbeth Ahn, instructor and co-founder of Pride Martial Arts in Chula Vista.
Delaney started fighting at Pride at age 3. By the time she was 8, she was a first-degree black belt. A year later, an ATA world champion.
“It’s been a long journey but I’m glad I stuck with it,” Cook said. “I’ve grown a lot of my confidence here and I feel like it just has a big impact on my life.”
Now the 8th grader from Eastlake Middle School is a third-degree black belt, honored to be the only representative her age range from California competing in the ATA Championships held in Phoenix in late July.
“I’m so happy that I’m part of that,” she said. “I feel really proud.”