Katy has a new three-time world champion. Mikayla Francisco, age 8, recently took home three gold world champion titles in traditional form, sparring, and creative form at the American Taekwondo Association’s World Championships in Little Rock, AR. She competed in a total of seven top 10 divisions, placing in each event with three silver medals in traditional weapon, extreme form, and extreme weapon, and a bronze medal in creative weapon.
Francisco was first enthralled by her two older cousins performing Taekwondo forms on a white, powdery sand beach during a family reunion in late December 2008. At the age of 4, she declined her father's offer to sign her up for youth soccer and figured that it could not match the attraction of a crisp, white uniform (Dobok), punching and kicking techniques, and learning the bo staff (Jahng Bong).
In January 2009, Francisco began lessons at Katy ATA Black Belt Academy, starting as a white belt Tiny Tiger. She showed good promise as a color belt, competing at regional tournaments and eventually becoming a young junior leader. At age 6, she earned her first Texas state champion title in creative form.
During the 2010 to 2011 season, Francisco continued to excel in each of the color belt forms and competed in both regional and national tournaments. At age 7, she earned five Texas state champion titles in traditional form, traditional weapon, sparring, creative form, and creative weapon in 2011.
She was promoted to the rank of first degree black belt in June 2011 at age 7. The 2011 to 2012 season would prove to be her road to the world championships. Francisco trained numerous hours with world champion Taekwondo instructors, third to fifth degree black belt instructors, and tumbling coaches based in Katy, as well as with an extreme martial arts instructor, based in Los Angeles.
Along with her 2012 world championship achievements, Francisco also earned seven Texas state champion titles in traditional form, traditional weapon, sparring, creative form, creative weapon, extreme form, and extreme weapon.
Her parents, Tim and Maristelle Francisco, believe that the leadership program helped her establish goals and objectives, focusing on courtesy, loyalty, respect, perseverance, honor, integrity, and self-control, the basic tenets of Taekwondo.
Entering fourth grade this fall at Stanley Elementary, Francisco continues to be an A student. She also has a passion for piano, tumbling, and her Katy ISD Destination Imagination team, which rounds out her activity schedule.