Albuquerque woman with disability breaks barriers using Taekwondo

Stefanie Anderson has an intellectual disability, but she found her passion in Taekwondo six years ago. She’s been pushing through boundaries ever since. Her mother, Gabriella Anderson, says Stefanie struggled with confidence until she found taekwondo. “Stefanie started when she was 22, and she’s still growing and still developing. Still gaining confidence and gaining strength,” Gabriella Anderson said. belt, Stefanie has not only climbed the ranks of her taekwondo school she has also found new inner strength.”She’s not afraid anymore. It’s just this confidence that that is priceless,” says Gabriella Anderson.Throughout her journey, her teachers haven’t pulled any punches.”She does everything that everybody else does. All eight forms, 20 self-defense moves and all of her kicks,” Gabriella Anderson said.Stefanie says it’s taken a lot of training and studying. Her hard work and dedication have even inspired her mom to learn taekwondo.”I’ll say, ‘Hey, Stef, help me here with this form.’ And she’ll show me right away, and it’s been fun to have her teach me,” Gabriella Anderson said.It’s been almost seven years of hard work for one special day—her black belt test.”Every test has been spectacular, but this one’s huge. This one’s much bigger than the others,” Gabriella Anderson said.Stefanie displayed a mastery of everything she practiced at home for the moment that’s been years in the making, but for Stefanie, the black belt is about more than just breaking through boards.”Breaking that board is like breaking through barriers and breaking down preconceptions. Stefanie is a contributing member of society. Never underestimate her or anyone,” Gabriella Anderson said. Her journey breaking barriers doesn’t stop in the dojo. Stefanie says she believes she can break anything in front of her.

Stefanie Anderson has an intellectual disability, but she found her passion in Taekwondo six years ago. She’s been pushing through boundaries ever since.

Her mother, Gabriella Anderson, says Stefanie struggled with confidence until she found taekwondo.

“Stefanie started when she was 22, and she’s still growing and still developing. Still gaining confidence and gaining strength,” Gabriella Anderson said.

Step by step and belt by belt, Stefanie has not only climbed the ranks of her taekwondo school she has also found new inner strength.

“She’s not afraid anymore. It’s just this confidence that that is priceless,” says Gabriella Anderson.

Her entire journey, her teachers haven’t pulled any punches.

“She does everything that everybody else does. All eight forms, 20 self-defense moves and all of her kicks,” Gabriella Anderson said.

Stefanie says it’s taken a lot of training and studying. Her hard work and dedication have even inspired her mom to learn taekwondo.

“I’ll say, ‘Hey, Stef, help me here with this form.’ And she’ll show me right away, and it’s been fun to have her teach me,” Gabriella Anderson said.

It’s been almost seven years of hard work for one special day—her black belt test.

“Every test has been spectacular, but this one’s huge. This one’s much bigger than the others,” Gabriella Anderson said.

Stefanie displayed a mastery of everything she practiced at home for the moment that’s been years in the making, but for Stefanie, the black belt is about more than just breaking through boards.

“Breaking that board is like breaking through barriers and breaking down preconceptions. Stefanie is a contributing member of society. Never underestimate her or anyone,” Gabriella Anderson said.

Her journey breaking barriers doesn’t stop in the dojo. Stefanie says she believes she can break anything in front of her.

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