SHE may just be eight years old, but Gosnells’ Charli Caldieraro is already making waves in the martial arts world.
A student of Canning Vale’s Nine Dragon Martial Arts Academy, Charli is already a two-time state and a one-time national Brazilian jiu jitsu champion, and recently added the Perth Cup to her trophy cabinet.
These feats are all the more incredible given she only took up the sport a little over 12 months ago.
Charli said she could not wait to defend her title at the National championships in Melbourne later this year.
“I was very happy to win the Perth Cup because I have been training so hard,” she said.
In the short time she has been competing, Charli has become very passionate about the sport and one fighter stands out as being her inspiration.
“Holly Holm is my favourite because is a good kick boxer and she beat (former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion) Ronda Rousey,” she said.
Her mother Jodie Moloney said while she always had her reservations about her daughter getting hurt, she said it was important kids learnt self-defence.
“It’s important for kids to be able to defend themselves, so she’s picked that sport so she can protect herself when she’s older,” she said.
“She trains up to four times a week and that’s not forced, she chooses to do that. She’s doing a bit of kenpo as well, she’s doing karate because she watched the Ronda Rousey fight and saw you can’t just do one discipline.”
Ms Moloney said the financial burden of having to fly her daughter over east to compete in national meets was tough.
“We’re going to try to fly over this year and get funding. We got $200 from the City of Gosnells last year, but we’re going to try to get a bit of funding because I want her to go to the Pan Pacific championships.”
She said the State Government’s recent decision to lift the ban on fenced safety enclosures in MMA fights would help Charli pursue her dreams as it would allow Perth to host tournaments.