In only 5 years Asena Melike Ağansoy became Turkey’s first female black belt while she became one of my first black belts. She received her black belt along with her brother Uğur Ağansoy and longtime friend and training partner Kaan Fazla who is leading our team in the capital of Turkey Ankara at the moment.
What an amazing achievement in such a short time for me for Asena Melike AĞANSOY and for our team.
Her nickname is Maezinha. (Little mother)
I gave her the nickname after an emotional post written by her brother Uğur on her birthday calling her his little mother. We will get to that later.
She is a true warrior but not many know her story.
I started training more than a decade ago in Istanbul, Turkey in a country basically virgin to BJJ. There were just a few guys who even know what it was. I was the only pro trying to earn a living from it.
To this day we have no government federation or support/sponsorship from any local companies.
We don’t have enough training partners or competitions. We have to go through a very harsh visa process to enter Europe and euro being veery expensive and most practitioners being students its almost impossible for many talented athletes to compete.
We at Corvos have an internal sponsorship system. I am sure many of you out there familiar with the situation where members support each other for fight expenses gears etc.
For years we pioneered BJJ in Turkey with sheer effort of people who believed in us and decided to share our mats.
Creating black belts wasn’t easy.
I spent years and years hosting seminars and camps out of my pocket. Most of my dedicated students were sponsored by me and other fellow team members.
Some prospects stayed and became my 3% while others turned out to be bitter creontes and decided to be the driving force of seeding BJJ in Turkey.
Not many people know about this but Asena Melike Ağansoy had a movie of a life.
Born in 1991 Melo is the daughter of Tevfik Ağansoy and Hülya Ağansoy.
Even though her father was known as a well respected right-wing mafia boss he was also an ex-deep state operative who later had to turn into a mafia figure after he was done doing governments dirty work.
He married Melo’s mother Hülya Ağansoy in 1981. Months after their marriage he got arrested and served 9 years in prison.
In 1996 while he was having a meeting with bodyguards of Tansu Çiller (former Turkish President) He was shot 17 times before he managed to shoot and kill his attacker. He died 3 hours after the attack with 17 bullets in his body in front of the hospital because they refused to treat him. At the night of the assassination, the attack was claimed by his former partner, another famous mafia figure.
Melo was only 5 years old.
When I said her life was like a movie I wasn’t exaggerating.
Asena Melike Ağansoy & Uğur Ağansoy grew in a house full of raids, constant stress and threats. Melo and Uğur were born in fire. They were the black sheep among their peers. They’ve been attacked by both their friends and abused by their teachers at very early age. They’ve even been kicked out of school because of their last name.
A certain politically motivated group tried to gave them a title which they refused.
After her fathers death her mother, who I must say that the strongest woman I ever met, took over and decided to close this chapter of the family for the sake of the two kids. She decided not to become vengeful. She didn’t accept any “gifts” from her husband’s friends and started to work to support her 2 kids instead of making any power moves.
Melo had to take care of her little brother at a very very early age because her mother was working (+15 hours a day) all day and nights.
This is why her brother Uğur calls her Maezinha (his little mother)
Introduction to BJJ
She started BJJ through her brother.
2 years after Uğur started she walked in one day.
She had some cookies with her at all times. She was not athletic at all. She was quiet but observant. I never expected her to continue to be honest. She seemed very interested though. She kept showing up. About a week passed and one day I saw her smoking in the front of the academy. I remember clearly saying Choose “BJJ or Marlboro”
I never saw her smoke again.
Since she started BJJ she never left the mat.
She trained regularly twice a day before tournaments.
We regularly post our rolling videos.
We are really great full for all the positive feedback we get for the videos. Melo an I never expected that the videos would make such an impact.
As I mentioned before having a Turkish passport and fighting BJJ is not so easy. It’s sad to see that even though we have more than 270 fighters made it to the podium some being IBJJF champions but we can’t even get our gis through customs sometimes due to customs regulation. We as a team won a UAEJJF Gold Cup for our country but can’t even get our kimonos through customs and or let alone have a legitimate federation.
Under this harsh environment, Melo with her limited fighting experience did very well also as an athlete.
The Black Belt Ceremony
Now that the fiery life is over Asena Melike Ağansoy & Uğur Ağansoy are well respected martial artists.
Melo won a full scholarship at a private University and studies Sports Management.
She competes and teaches Jiu-Jitsu while she studies.
In life and Jiu Jitsu, you have to be a predator. You should accept the challenges life gives you and move forward stronger instead of pulling yourself back to your shell and hoping for better. You should not accept roles people impose on you.
Melo embraced her hardships and became tougher than many people I know. Life is about perception really. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an amazing tool for bringing everything together. It shows you how right decisions will accumulate and take you to a better place in life.
Before I grade a student I ask my self few simple questions.
Can he or she pass the art to the new generations?
Is this person ready technically?
Can he/she represent BJJ community worldwide and Corvos well?
Did he/she evolve physically and emotionally?
How well they perform under stress?
I had the honor of crowning one of my first and Turkey’s first female black belts.
Melo has been a good student of the art, a good instructor, and a good competitor.
Well deserved baby.
I would like to thank you all for the amazing comments we’ve been getting from the online Jiu Jitsu community.
It really means a lot. Please stop by for a roll if you ever come to İstanbul.
I would also like to thank Moya Brand for sponsoring Asena Melike Ağansoy. You guys are great.
Thanks to Ceyhun Şenocak Foto for amazing photographs.
Last but not least I would like to thank whole Corvos Combat family. It wouldn’t be possible without you.