ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

When I was 12 years old, I'm pretty sure I was playing Barbies and figuring out ways to get out of my P.E. class. Akira Bua, on the other hand, is kicking butt and taking names (literally) as one tough Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.

Check out this mini-doc on this mini-phenom:

Akira is part of a group of young women, or "Real Life Powerpuff girls," who are making waves in their communities. She took up jiu-jitsu at just 10 years old, and is now training six days a week at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, 's BJJ system. Akira says that the sport has taught her humility.

"When you first enter the sport, you have to learn from losing," she said. "My coach always says, 'you win some, and you learn some,' and I think that's a really powerful phrase. You can make as many mistakes, as long look back from it and learn from it."

Despite her young age, Akira has already reached a level well beyond her years. She's taken multiple gold medals at the IBJJF World Championship, All Americas, NAGA tournaments, and more.

"I say you should go for it," said Akira to all the girls who want to try a male dominated sport. "It will make you a more empowered girl. I think you should go for what you love and not be held back by the stereotypes."

We don't know what the future holds for the young jiu-jitsu phenom, but whether she continues to kick butt on the mat, or perhaps even pursues a career in MMA like her role model , we know she will continue to break barriers and inspire.

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