Ten-year-old Jesse Jane McParland travels with a sword half her size. Nearly engulfed by an armchair, she chatted with a fan named Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday.
The soft-spoken martial artist with more than 175 titles to her name got an early start. At 3, McParland — who also goes by JJ Golden Dragon — was enrolled in ballet, but found it less than scintillating. The little Irish lass was out with her dad one afternoon when she saw people doing karate. He worried it was “too dangerous,” but she couldn’t look away.
For about thirty minutes, we sat and watched karate and we went home and Mummy said, ‘Why? Why d’you not like ballet and Irish dancing?’ and I said, ‘Mummy, not every girl dreams of being a princess.’
The next week, McParland’s parents signed her up for her first class. She’s since competed on Britain’s Got Talent and will soon appear in two movies. Ninety million people on Facebook watched a video of one routine — and McParland’s latest performance is best viewed at least five times.