5-year-old Filipina wins gold medal in Jiu-Jitsu World Championship

Aleia Aielle, who has Philippine martial arts pillars as parents, is one of youngest winners in the sport

By Charmaine Y. Rodriguez

A five-year-old Filipina has won a gold medal in the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship in Abu Dhabi. She beat other competitors who were older than her. 

Aleia Aielle M. Aguilar ruled the Kids 1 Under-16 category at the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival last November 13. She had won against Maria El Halabi of the United Arab Emirates, 6-0 in the semifinals, and defeated Brazil’s Gabriella Vercosa via verbal submission to secure the gold.

Aielle is from a family of martial artists: her mother, Maybelline Masuda, is a former world champion and a gold medalist in the 2014 Asian Beach Games; her father is URCC founder Alvin Aguilar, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and founder of the longest Filipino MMA promotions Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC).

“I’m beyond happy that my baby girl is now the Philippines youngest world champion. We will continue to work hard to bring honor to our country,” said the elder Aguilar in a Rappler report. 

Masuda said ever since Aielle was only three weeks old, she already brought her to her training sessions and even during tournaments. 

They also own a gym so Aielle was always exposed to jiu-jitsu.

“It’s basically inevitable but it really came from her, that’s why we are happy and proud that she was really interested in it and it’s something she wanted to do,” Masuda said in an ABS-CBN report. 

Aielle is not the only jiu-jitsu athlete in the family as her older brothers, Alonso Lucas and Andreas Lucho, are also competing in the same sport.

She also offered some advice to parents who want to get their kids involved in martial arts.

“I mean the scene is changing, people are starting to train earlier, younger. And martial arts is really something that is good for kids, you know the discipline and the hard work (involved), they learn the value of it all. They become athletes and I would really recommend that parents get their kids into a martial arts, and jiu-jitsu basically,” she also said.

The elder Aguilar, who spent over 30 years studying multiple martial arts including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, expressed gratitude to her daughter’s teammates at DEFTAC, including her training partner Yuri Yson, and all her coaches, especially wrestling coach Choy Tumasis from WAP.

“I was more nervous watching her compete than I’ve ever felt when I compete myself,” said Masuda. “I couldn’t sleep the night before [the finals] but we pulled through and she got what we came here for,” she also told Rappler. 

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