15-year-old Rachel Meyer has been a student of the martial art for nine years, and is currently a 3rd Dan Black Belt.
Her father and primary coach Scott Meyer got her involved in Taekwondo because he wanted her to be able to defend herself and to also help build her confidence. It was the reason he had taken up the sport of which he now teaches to local youngsters at Martial Arts of Tucson.
"She really took to the sparing aspect of Taekwondo," said Scott Meyer. "Then she started beating everybody around."
Rachel has placed second in the Nation twice and third twice, and is poised to make the move to the top. She has won numerous local, state, and regional Gold medals in her career having beaten fighters from all over the Southwest.
"Probably my favorite thing about Taekwondo is knowing that I can defend myself," said Rachel.
Her father says she's certainly not the strongest person in the world physically but her length, flexibility and quickness are perfect for the sport.
Meyer practices her craft four times a week while also competing in track. She has taken the skills she learned as a sprint athlete and transformed them to help her on the martial arts mat.
"Track is good for speed and quickness in your legs," said Meyer.
Her favorite move is the ax kick, a face kick, which if scored during a match is worth three points. Rachel in her career has never been knocked down in a match.
Taekwondo made its second appearance in as a sport in the Summer Olympic games in London, England. Meyer hopes to ultimately hold one of the two female spots to represent her country.
"2016 Rio [De Janeiro Olympics] would be awesome."
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