Taekwondo athlete with special needs breaking milestones, inspiring others | #specialneeds | #kids


A Florida teen with special needs has gotten his third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and he hopes his story inspires others to achieve their goals. 

Arik Ancelin, of Jacksonville, accomplished a big milestone this weekend by receiving his third-degree black belt.

The 18-year-old with Down syndrome has been practicing Taekwondo for 11 years. 

“This belt makes me more proud of myself,” Ancelin said. 

Master Jason Watson, of Watson Martial Ares in Jacksonville, tells the family that as far as he knows, Ancelin is the first person with special needs in Florida to achieve this.

Watson says Ancelin’s dedication and strength have gotten him to this point. 

“We don’t change the curriculum, or we haven’t for Arik. He’s done everything that kids who don’t have special needs do,” Watson said. 

Ancelin hopes his story inspires others with special needs to push their limits. 

“I want you to make your dreams happen,” he said. “I want them to do what will make them happy.”



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