BY DANA SPECTOR / AJT //
What is your proudest childhood achievement?
Think back to when you were 7 and, perhaps, you won a spelling test and a golden sticker; or maybe you got a little trophy for being the best swimmer on your neighborhood swim team.
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While admirable, these accomplishments pale when compared with what Maya Cohen of Milton, Ga. has managed to accomplish.
Maya, just 7, has won two World events and four National events in martial arts and is currently ranked as the best in the country in six of eight categories!
Last year she was the state and district (best of seven states) champion in three categories – Creative Forms, Creative Weapons, and Xtreme Forms – in American Taekwondo for her age group. She also placed second in traditional weapons, third in traditional forms, and fifth in sparring.
Her instructors, Jimmy Bell of ATA Karate Atlanta’s Milton School and Maxwell VanEck, also of ATA Karate Atlanta, are proud of their young student’s accomplishments. The ATA Karate Atlanta program strives to instill respect, self-control, confidence, focus, physical fitness, perseverance and goal setting, all part of its self-defense lessons.
Recently Maya, who along with her parents and brother, is a member of Temple Beth Tikvah, was accepted into Maxwell Van Eck’s XMA team training; Van Eck is an ATA world champion. Maya is the youngest and lowest belt rank student, one of three girls originally accepted into the specialized class.
Determined and perseverant, Maya has hopes to try out for the Karate Atlanta XMA Demo Team when it is formed.