In 2019, Brookelynn Peddicord and her mom, Jennifer, were walking through a local shopping center in their hometown of Brunswick. As they looked through the storefront windows, Brooklynn saw students training at Da Silva-Simmons Karate and she told her mom, “I want to do that!”
Jennifer explained, “I reached out to Master Tim Simmons and discussed Brookelynn’s background. He said to bring her in and they would see how it goes...He said he couldn’t promise anything but would take her as far as he can…Master Tim has been absolutely amazing. He holds Brookelynn to high standards and has gone the extra mile to make sure she is on par with her peers.”
“She fell in love with it right away,” Jennifer continued. “She wanted to come back every single day. We quickly found what she enjoys. We’ve been coming ever since.”
Brookelynn added, “I like to learn new [karate] forms and make new friends. I like to practice my forms. I like to promote and pass the tests.”
This year, Brookelynn was invited to be a member of the Da Silva-Simmons Karate competition team and traveled with her 40 teammates to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete at the 2023 AAU Taekwondo National Championship. Brooklynne competed in three Para Taekwondo divisions during the Fourth of July holiday week. On the first day of competition, she earned a gold medal in sparring. On the third day of competition, she earned a gold medal for her Chong Gi form in the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) division, a gold medal for her Tae Gyuk EE Jang form in the World Taekwondo division and a gold medal for her Pyong Ahn 2 form in the Tang Soo Do division. Brookelynn’s individual accomplishments contributed to the DaSilva-Simmons team earning first place in the nation!
As a rising seventh grader at Brunswick Middle School, Brookelynn navigates school life with a combination of epilepsy, autism, ADHD, hypertonia and Tourette syndrome. Her mom says she does fairly well in school with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that provides support and accommodations for her to be successful. This summer, Brookelynn is participating in the Elevate Program at Brunswick High School where she works 1-on-1 with a tutor to work on math skills.
In addition to karate, Brookelynn loves to watch movies with her mom and grandma, go swimming and “talk” with her friends on her iPad. Brookelynn dreams of being a Veterinarian. Her favorite animal is a pug. She loves taking care of her pug, Henry.
Jennifer says she is inspired by her daughter every day. “She doesn’t know her own strength. She doesn’t give up. If she fails, she gets back up and keeps trying until she can do it.”
When asked what she would like people to know, Brookelynn replied, “Karate is the most fun experience. Even if it’s hard, you just have to keep trying!”
“She doesn’t know her own strength. She doesn’t give up. If she fails, she gets back up and keeps trying until she can do it.” - Jennifer Peddicord
“Karate is the most fun experience. Even if it’s hard, you just have to keep trying!” - Brookelynn Peddicord