TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A St. Petersburg 12-year-old Taekwondo student recently came home for the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Greensboro, North Carolina, and brought a few things home with him.
Jacob Arias won four gold medals while competing against athletes from all over the country. He won in the categories of World Taekwondo Federation Forms, Open Forms, Weapons, and Team Forms.
Jacob is currently a Second Dan Black Belt, and has been practicing Taekwondo since he was 6 years old.
“It started as self-defense, but it became so much more as I learned discipline, self-defense, respect and self-control,” Jacob said.
Jacob demonstrated for FOX 13 some moves and methods that won him the gold medals, including a roundhouse kick.
He is so good, that he has to practice against adults and teenagers at his own dojang. “It’s a bit overwhelming, but it helps me improve,” added Jacob.
He’s now looking ahead to the ESPN International Martial Arts Festival happening this October in Orlando.