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ISWA student Ariel Rodrigues follows her fighting dreams. Photo courtesy of Matt Ferris Photography.

While other students sleep in during their summer vacation, Insight School of Washington (ISWA) rising 10th grader Ariel Rodrigues wakes up at 4:30 AM to train.

Ariel, who trains in Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, among other forms of martial arts, will battle in an Ax Fighting Championship grappling match in a cage on August 6th.

“I love having online school as an option because it allows me to train more,” Ariel said. “My main focuses in life are training and school.”

Ariel, a resident of Lynnwood, Washington, grew up watching Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights with her mother, Lisa Graves, but got a taste of fighting for herself when she was 8 years old. Ariel tried a kids’ MMA class at UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva’s gym, and she loved every part of it.

“That is when (Ariel’s) dream began to be a professional fighter,” Lisa said.

Ariel began Taekwondo right away, and she started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the same gym in 2012.

“She got second place in her first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament and didn’t take her medal off all night,” Lisa said. “She has been working towards her dream since then.”

Photo courtesy of Matt Ferris Photography.

Since 2013, Ariel has competed in more than 25 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, and she made her Muay Thai amateur debut this June. She trains tirelessly with her coach and even coaches younger children in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Ariel credits ISWA with giving her the flexibility she needs to train and compete. “Online school allows me to focus on my dreams and finish school with fewer distractions,” she said.

Check out Ariel’s recent TV interview on KING!

Photo courtesy of Matt Ferris Photography.

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