Melanie Gibson began taekwondo training at age 10. At age 12 she stopped taekwondo to pursue other interests and resumed training in her early 30s.

Although Melanie had academic and career achievements throughout her life, she struggled with mental illness and low self-esteem. After making some progress through psychiatric treatment and counseling, she knew she needed to do something more substantial to make lasting changes. Returning to taekwondo had always been in the back of her mind, and the timing was right.

Taekwondo proved to be not only an opportunity to re-learn a beloved skill from her childhood, but also a means to build her self-esteem and confidence, and heal from old wounds. It brought a needed excitement and purpose to her life, which she shares in her blog Little Black Belt (littleblackbelt.com). While continuing to work at her full-time job, Melanie dedicated herself to taekwondo training and earned her first degree black belt in 2015. In 2017, she earned her second degree black belt. Although a pandemic and knee injury sidelined her training in 2020, Melanie plans to return to taekwondo and test for her third degree black belt.

She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas Woman’s University, a Master of Library Science from the University of North Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. Melanie has worked in the healthcare industry since 2004, with roles as a hospital librarian, corporate trainer and learning designer. Her first book, "Kicking and Screaming: A Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts" (She Writes Press) will be released in April 2021.

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