Too cool for school: Julia Johnson


Olivia Hess, Staff Writer

In due time, B-A will have a second-degree black belt roaming the halls, and her name is Julia Johnson. 

Julia, a junior, has been practicing taekwondo at Altoona Academy of Taekwondo for ten years. She got into martial arts when she was three. 

She is looking forward to receiving her new black belt and has “been training for this since [she] got [her] first degree black belt.”

From an early time, Julia knew that taekwondo was something that she could enjoy for the rest of her life. 

“I knew when I got on the floor for the first time that this is my sport, and the people are amazing,” she said. 

Julia Johnson in action doing taekwondo

Julia’s ultimate goal is to keep advancing higher in belt degrees. Although none of her belt tests were tough for her to pass, the journey hasn’t always been easy.

“…the hardest part of my journey was probably having to stop for almost a year due to my surgeries,” she remembered. 

In 2021, Julia underwent two brain surgeries in Pittsburgh.

Since she has overcome her obstacles, Julia has had the privilege of teaching the younger students, which is one of her favorite perks of being a black belt.

On top of that, Julia said, knowing taekwondo can have advantages outside of the mat, such as real-world self defense.

 “I believe that everyone should know how to defend themselves, and the best way to learn is at a good taekwondo school who has good instructors,” Julia reflected.