Once bullied teen helps build self-confidence in kids through karate

Originally aired on KLEW-TV – November 11, 2019

This week’s Community Hero is a teen who was once bullied but used that pain to become a world champion fighter showing other kids there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“In 2018 I brought home a silver medal for the WKF World Championship and in 2019 I got double bronze one it katsa and one in kumate,” said Sydni Stocks.

Sydni Stocks is the real-life karate kid.

“She’s very talented as far as the competitive sport, karate goes,” said Marital Arts America, Owner Frank Arnett. “She’s gone international. She’s on the national team.”

Sydni Stocks, 15, has become a trained fighter over the past eight years in everything from karate to mixed martial arts, all the way to Jujitsu. But she wasn’t always the kickboxing, bag punching, black belt she is today.

“I was really-just not in a good place like I was very shy, very quiet,” she said. “Some of the kids from school, I just wasn’t being treated the way I should’ve been. My mom had talked to one of her students about karate.”

Sydni is now using that pain to help young kids see the value in themselves.

“I’ve done a couple of school-type seminars where I’ve gone in and talked to kids about just my experiences and how to build self-confidence,” Sydni said.

She’s since created an anti-bullying campaign, advocating for self-confidence in youngsters. Admitting it could be a harder thing to instill these things in younger people in the world of cyberbullies.

“The kids really do look up to Sidney,” said Arnett. “She’s one of our instructors here at the Dojo as well. The kids just love her. I mean, they come in. They hug her. They just can’t wait to see her. she’s a great inspiration to all of them.”

She’s hoping her story inspires those who are bullied to try the sport that has brought her so much joy and taught her perseverance over the years.

“Martial arts is open arms to family bonding,” says Sydni. “Even if you don’t have your own family. We are all here for you. We are your extended family.

Sydni is very serious about her craft. She’s even enrolled in Idaho Virtual Academy, which is an on-line school, so that she could continue to travel the sport. After high school she plans to go to college and possibly open her own Dojo, meaning karate facility one day.

To learn more about Idaho Virtual Academy, visit https://idva.k12.com/

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