Meet Rayna Vallandingham, a bona fide legend in the world of martial arts. With an impressive record of 13 world championships under her black belt, this 20-year-old dynamo has shattered stereotypes and conquered obstacles throughout her journey.
Despite encountering her fair share of sexism in the male-dominated realm of Tae Kwon Do, Vallandingham has chosen to use it as fuel for her fire. Boys in her class used to say things like, “Rayna, you kick like a girl,” but she took it as a compliment rather than an insult. In fact, she believes girls kick with beauty and unmatched flexibility. And let’s be honest, they do!
Vallandingham’s resilience and determination have grown stronger in the face of adversity. She admits that the experiences have helped her evolve as a person and taught her the value of perseverance and discipline that martial arts instills.
It all started when she was just a shy two-year-old girl hiding under chairs and benches at her local dojo in Southern California. Fast forward a few years, and she became the one to beat. Vallandingham won her first world title in Tae Kwon Do at the impressive age of 9. Talk about a rising star!
Credit for her success goes to her incredible support system—her parents and her grandfather, whom she affectionately calls Nana. Grandpa Nana has been her rock, taking her to the dojo every day since she was two. He has always believed in her, calling her his “kaur” or “lioness.” So much so that Vallandingham had the word “kaur” tattooed on her, serving as a constant reminder of her strength and empowerment.
But that’s not all. Vallandingham is on a mission to break boundaries and inspire others. Not only is she making waves in martial arts, but she’s also making her mark in the entertainment industry and social media. As an Indian American, she is proud to represent her community and pave the way for future generations. She dreams of becoming the first female Indian lead in an action movie, just like her role model, the amazing Lucy Liu.
With over a million followers on TikTok, Vallandingham’s talent has caught the attention of many. Alongside her martial arts accolades, she has ventured into stunt work, music videos, podcasting, and choreography. In fact, she recently teamed up with the legendary Bruce Lee’s family to launch their signature line of bomber jackets. How cool is that?
The day the Bruce Lee account followed her on social media, Vallandingham felt an overwhelming sense of achievement. She has always aspired to be the “female Bruce Lee,” even though some skeptics said it couldn’t be done. But she’s determined to prove them wrong and establish herself as a renowned figure in her own right.
Rayna Vallandingham is a force to be reckoned with, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next. She’s an inspiration to all, showing us that there are no limits to what we can achieve if we believe in ourselves. So, let’s kick like a girl and break barriers together!