Tiny Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Star Aralai Is Inspiring Kids With New Video Series

03/10/2015 6:58 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST

Video by Tom Compagnoni

Don't be fooled by the pigtails and tiny stature of Brazilian jiu jitsu star Aralai Mattila-Mertens.

Nicknamed 'The Butterfly', Aralai is a strong, sponsored martial arts champion who is passionate about sharing her skills with other children.

And did we mention she's only eight?


Aralai at Garage Jiu-Jitsu in Bondi Junction. Picture: Tom Compagnoni

She said was first introduced to the martial art by her brother.

"I saw how much fun he was having so I decided to try it and right away I liked it a lot," she told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Now my dad does it too."


Aralai sparing at Garage Jiu-Jitsu in Bondi Junction. Picture: Tom Compagnoni

She's won a range of competitions including the 2014 Pan Pacific Championship and now she and her trainer Levi Xanadu Jones-leary are preparing to launch a video series teaching skills and confidence for other children.

Jones-leary told The HuffPost Australia they wanted to introduce children to the martial art.

"Brazilian jiu jitsu is perfect for children because it doesn't rely on you being very tall or strong," Jones-leary said.

"A child can get away from someone much bigger than them using techniques that you can learn relatively easily.

"Aralai is such a good student because you can tell she's so passionate about the martial art, but she's also a good teacher."

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