Pinellas Co. woman named world champion martial artist

- At only 22-years-old, Renee Martin is a powerhouse in the world of martial arts - having just won a world championship in Okinawa, Japan.

She's also a trainer at Authentic Martial Arts in Seminole.

"That moment was something that I'll never forget. Kind of speechless about it," Martin said about her championship.

Martial arts take discipline, which apparent considering she's been practicing since she was 4-years-old. 

"I just kind of started it because my whole family was into it and I just stuck with it and put all my effort into it," she said.

Martin credits much of her success to her own trainer - her father, Ric - who is a world champion himself. 

"We're the first Americans to actually win over there and to have that in the same family is incredible. It's an amazing feeling," Ric said.  

But winning is about more than just moves. 

"I think it was the confidence. I felt good in myself and I trained hard enough and I felt I could be number one and I just kept that belief the whole time," Martin said.

She's a tough competitor with a humble spirit. 

"I'm just happy to represent the United States and I'm happy to be an influence to other students around the world," she said.  

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Pinellas Co. woman named world champion martial artist
  • Students show love and give hope to those who need it most
  • Discovery learning helps kids develop skills
  • Tennis in the blood of Bay Area family
  • Podcast focuses on innovation in St. Petersburg
  • Ministry develops sustainable communities in Africa
  • Lunch Pals program offers mentoring to students
  • Four Bay Area scouts earn honor of Eagle Scout
  • Sarasota students honor memory of those who gave all
  • Woman's turnaround inspired by her mother's words