TOP MAN: Reyce stands proudly as a winner on the podium
FEW SPORTSPEOPLE can claim to be the best in the world in their chosen profession but that is exactly what a teenager from Kent can declare.
Thirteen-year-old Reyce Asesimba won gold at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Pan Kids Championship in the lightweight division for 13 to 15-year-old yellow belts.
Representing Great Britain in California in February alongside his younger brother Jaidon, Reyce defeated two opponents by catching them in a triangle choke – a technique where the user wraps his legs around his opponent’s neck – and then transitioned into an armbar – a manoeuvre which hyperextends the elbow, causing them to submit.
Reminiscing about the experience, the Rochester native told the Voice of Sport: “I just wanted to try and play my game and show what I can do. It was a lot of weight off my shoulders and it felt good to be world champion.
“I was quite nervous but I just tried to put some headphones on. It didn’t sink in at the time at all. When I finished the fight my mum came over, said she wasn’t going to cry and then cried for 15 minutes!”
In order to even compete in California, Reyce’s family and his team-mates started a fundraiser and managed to accrue a total of £3,200, soaring past their initial target of £2,500.
“It [the response from the public] was overwhelming,” said Reyce’s father Heru. ”I’m grateful to everyone – anybody that’s commented, liked shared; it doesn’t matter what you did. If it was the tiniest contribution to largest, I’m so appreciative for it all.”
Heru added: “Reyce’s goal has always been to be a multiple world champion in different disciplines so now it’s just about keeping his head focused and keeping him guided. We’ve already got him new strength and conditioning coaches with a number of other things in place just to raise the levels.
“He’s such a dedicated child and it’s not a joke. Even he doesn’t realise the magnitude of what he’s done. He’s so humble that it’s unreal.”
Reyce and Jaidon, who are both English champions, are seeking sponsorship in order to compete abroad and to assist their training.
To keep up to date with the Asesimba brothers or for sponsorship opportunities please follow them on Twitter @TheAsesimbaBros or on Facebook – facebook.com/TheAsesimbaBrothers