Senior, Jadah Tinsley posing with her Nationals metals

DeAnna Smith

Senior, Jadah Tinsley posing with her Nationals metals

From bronze to gold: Jadah Tinsley goes to Tae Kwon Do nationals

April 20, 2023

Jadah Tinsley (12) says the blood, sweat, and tears to improve her skills, health, and discipline makes this experience humbling. (DeAnna Smith)

“You fight like a girl!” and to any other gender biased comment like this, Jadah Tinsely would say thank you. Because on Feb. 11, Dacula High School held the AAU Taekwondo Georgia State Championship and Jadah Tinsley, a senior at South, walked away from this event with three gold medals. Her efforts are a testimony that she is just as skilled and capable as any martial artist. Her accomplishments in Taekwondo has been extensive since she began working on her technique.

Jadah shares insight on how her passion and success in this sport was first ignited in hopes to encourage other Comets to find their purpose. From second grade to eighth grade, Jadah was home-schooled. She was active on the YMCA’s swim team but described herself as being bored and seeking opportunities to try something new and connect with people. Inspired by her brothers, who practiced martial arts, Jadah decided to take on Tae Kwon Do when she was just 13 years old. Since then, she was able to connect with like-minded peers and says that the sport impacted her life in many ways. Aside from the social growth, participating in martial arts was also the start of her life-changing weight loss journey. Jadah says, “I used to be over 250 lbs, losing weight through Tae Kwon Do and being more active definitely helped build my self-esteem.” Teens especially struggle with their self-esteem and tend to be very concerned on their appearance and how other people view them. Making this physical change proved to be beneficial to her health and self-acceptance. Jadah says that the mental and physical growth that this course allowed her to achieve translated in other areas of her life. Here at South Gwinnett, Jadah is a thriving student and a member of various groups and organizations including: Student Council, HOSA where she serves as the president, National Honor Society (NHS) and Beta Club. In both Tae Kwon Do and in her academic studies, Jadah has been recognized for her high achievements. So she’s not only tough on the floor, but she’s mentally tough as well and has the skills of a great leader.

So how can Jadah’s high achievement in martial arts empower other girls? In a research conducted by Zippia, a career expert site, there are over 11,176 martial arts instructors in the United States, but women only make up about 20.7% of instructors while men make up the remaining 79.3%. Girls often shy away from activities that are not deemed as delicate or “feminine”. However, Jadah says that more girls should consider investing their time in martial arts. She says “All women should need to know some type of self defense as a survival skill. A lot of reason why women are preyed on and attacked is because they are viewed as submissive and weak. Girls should be just as feared as boys.” Jadah adds, “and for women out there that take self defense courses, do not be afraid to test your skills in tournaments. Who doesn’t like good competition and be considered the best of the best?” 

As Jadah continues to train, she plans on becoming Master Tinsley at her own dojo, a place to immerse in learning. Before she does that, Jadah says “I would like to travel to Korea and study Tae Kwon Do there and attain more training and information and connect with what I love so much.” As Jadah continues her learning, she encourages every person and women especially to invest in self defense and fight like a girl.

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