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Clark School Freshman Wins Gold Medal in Pan-American Martial Arts Championship

Clark School Freshman Wins Gold Medal in Pan-American Martial Arts Championship

Photo by Alicia Anthony
Photo by Alicia Anthony

Aarae Alexander, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Maryland's Clark School of Engineering, was awarded a gold medal in the Lightweight category of the Pan-American Martial Arts Championship. A civil engineering major, Aarae maintains a 3.1 GPA while training on Fridays and Saturdays at Team Lloyd Irvin's Martial Arts Academy in Camp Springs, Md.

“My parents signed me up in a martial arts summer camp when I was nine years old,” she said. “Their intent was to ensure that I’d be worn out by the time I got home every day. I enjoyed martial arts so much, I never wanted to go home.”

A rising star in the female jiu-jitsu ranks, Aarae hopes to win her 6th world title at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Championships on May 29-June 3, 2013 in Irvine, CA. She currently holds five World Championship IBJJF titles: 4 juvenile blue belts and 1 adult blue belt.

“What I like most about competing is the adrenaline rush that I get when I’m grappling,” said Aarae.  “I am extremely focused and am always strategizing. It's like playing chess. You always have to anticipate what your opponent is going to do next.”

Aarae is enjoying her experience at the Clark School of Engineering so far. After she graduates from the University of Maryland, she plans to design new and innovative road and bridge patterns to help decrease highway traffic.

May 7, 2013


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