Boy with prosthetic leg earns black belt

Julie Montanaro

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A 9-year-old Florida boy just earned his black belt in taekwondo, but it's his journey through the ranks that's getting the most applause.

Toby King did it with a prosthetic leg, and he isn't letting that stop him from breaking boards and pursuing his dreams.

The fourth grader is hooked on stances, strikes and kicks.

"You just have to focus and if you focus, you can do anything," King said.

During practice, his instructors at Killearn Lakes Taekwondo in Tallahassee put him through a series of forms and tests.

"Not everybody gets to black belt... and especially with Toby, I mean... He's a first," instructor Rebecca Sisley said. “Since Toby has started, he’s done nothing but progress. He’s had like, a few setbacks like every student has, but he’s always come back stronger and better.”

King did all of this on a prosthetic leg - the 12th leg of his life.

"Just because you have a limb difference, doesn't mean you can't do something that nobody else can," King said as he sat cross legged on the mat.

He was born without one of his lower leg bones. It’s a condition called Fibular Hemimelia. He got his first prosthetic leg at just 13 months old.

His mom fights back tears recalling those first doses of doubt.

"We were told when Toby was born that we... that he may never be able to walk or run like other children," Kaley King said. "They were so wrong,” she said with a laugh, “He'll show them."

She continued.

“Him accomplishing something like this is a true testimony that anything is possible,” she said.

King earned his black belt in just two years.

He's sharing his story in hopes of inspiring other children with limb loss to break stereotypes and take a bow.

Instructors at Killearn Lakes Taekwondo aren't sure if Toby is the “first” child with a prosthetic leg to earn a black belt in Tallahassee. If not , they say, he's certainly one of a select few.