Does Leo Howard from Disney XD’s Kickin’ It really hold a black belt?
—Marie Lee, Oceanside, Calif.
Yes. Howard, 14, began studying martial arts at 5. At 7, the Fallbrook, Calif., native switched to extreme martial arts and had earned three world championships by age 8. His specialty is Shorin Ryu, in which he holds a black belt.
His success in martial arts led to his acting career. “I said [to my mom], ‘I really want to do this,’ and she said, ‘OK.’ Just coincidentally, an agent called me up from seeing me at a tournament, and it kind of fell into our laps from there,” he says. “I’ve been at it for about seven years now.”
Howard’s previous credits include a guest appearance on Monk, the role of young Snake Eyes in the feature film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, hosting Disney Channel’s Leo Little’s Big Show and a recurring role on Disney XD’s Zeke and Luther.
“This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” says the Bruce Lee fan, who also plays the young Conan in this summer’s Conan the Barbarian.