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RAPOLLA IS A JIU-JITSU DYNAMITE

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Clowe Rapolla controlled the competition on her way to the gold medal in the peewee division of the GSPN Open. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Clowe Rapolla controlled the competition on her way to the gold medal in the peewee division of the GSPN Open. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

By Regina Shiroma

In only 10 months time, 10-year-old Clowe Ann Rapolla has displayed much drive and ambition at such a young age in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Clowe trains with her older brothers, who started in the sport before she finally gave it a shot in February 2012. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Clowe trains with her brother Kymani, who started in the sport before she finally gave it a shot in February 2012. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Winning a gold medal in two of the three tournaments that she competed in 2012 (one of which was in the GSPN Open on Dec. 1), the little ball of dynamite has learned a lot.

Clowe decided that it was time for her to get her gi on after watching her two younger brothers on the mat.

“I was watching my brothers training and I wanted to train. By just watching my brothers, I’ve just been learning how to spar and be good.”

“When we spar, because we get to grapple, I just feel like we’re having fun,” said Clowe of her favorite part of the sport.

Mother of Clowe and her two younger brothers, Christina Rapolla, did not enroll Clowe at first.

“She would always watch their practices and practice with them at home before she even joined.”

In just these few months, mom gives credit to Clowe’s accomplishments through the sport in one word.

Clowe got her inspiration to try jiu-jitsu by watching her brothers first. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Clowe got her inspiration to try jiu-jitsu by watching her brothers Kymani (L) and Damian (R). (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

“Discipline,” said mom. “She’s coming from a military background, so she has a whole lot of discipline and she learns very well.”

Christina is a SSgt in the Guam Air National Guard and instills that military discipline upon her children.

Added to that discipline is her aggressiveness. That was evident in her approach during tournaments where she is the aggressor and attacker on the mat, usually finishing matches fairly quickly via submission.

The fifth grader from Tamuning Elementary has been coached under the guidance of twin brothers Elijah and Luis Reyes since she has started.

Elijah Reyes reiterated saying, “She’s disciplined and very respectful. Discipline, to me, is the best word to use. You tell her what to do, she knows the rules, I don’t need to ask what she did wrong. She knows right from wrong.”

Sometimes when on the mat, if Clowe doesn’t know what to do, Elijah is right there on the sidelines walking her through what she needs to do.

“She listens very well, too,” said Elijah Reyes. “When I tell her to tuck her elbow, she does it.”

Discipline, respect, and listens well. This ‘A’ honor roll student already encompasses the attitude of a humble athlete, and has the love and passion for the sport.

Two gold medals in 2012 - more to coming for this young and talented jiu-jitsu practitioner. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Two gold medals in 2012 – more to coming for this young and talented jiu-jitsu practitioner. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

“Clowe do you plan on playing any sports when you get older?”

“No, just Jiu-Jitsu,” replied Clowe.

“How about any hobbies, do you have any other hobbies?”

“Just Jiu-Jitsu.”

So its settled, just Jiu-Jitsu for Clowe Ann Rapolla. Of course, until she becomes a music teacher.

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