MILILANI, HI -- Mililani High School Army JROTC Cadet Angelina Calpito, LET 2, Sophomore competed 3-4 April 2021 in the 2021 USA National Youth Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Championship held in Orlando Florida, and is a qualifier for the 2021 USA World Team. With all of her hard work and dedication she placed first in two different weight divisions, 125 pounds (14-15 yr old) and 135 pounds (16-17 yr old).
Even with all of her success Cadet Calpito faced several challenges as she trained and prepared for this championship. One of her biggest challenge was her intense and rigorous training program that she followed from Monday to Saturday. Beginning her daily routine with MMA training from 0830 to 1100, then with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) from 1200 to 1300. Following her break, she returned starting back up at 1730 to 2000 and continued with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, ended her day with weight training from 2030 to 2130.
A second challenge she faced was cutting her weight. Before Covid-19, she weighed in at 107 pounds, but at the start of her fight camp she weighed in at 135 pounds, having only 16 weeks to drop to 125 pounds. "The challenge here was completely changing my diet and eating habits. I switched from eating packs of ramen and spam, to two handfuls of greens and one handful of protein everyday. Because of the rapid change in diet, I would often go to sleep with a sore stomach and extremely hungry," said Cadet Angelina Calpito. Over time she was able to overcome this challenge and learned how to fuel her body correctly.
The third challenge she faced was adjusting her sleep schedule. “A good amount of sleep and one's nutrition was something I had to remind myself daily. I, myself, never had a healthy sleeping schedule to begin with, so most of the time I would have to force myself to sleep in order to have better performance in practice the following day,” said Cadet Angelina Calpito.
With these challenges, Cadet Calpito was able to overcome them with the tremendous support of her family, and teammates. All of the hard work and hours that she poured in was shown throughout her fights and throughout the whole championship.
In 2019, Angelina won the National Youth MMA title in Ontario, California securing her a position on the 2019 USA Youth MMA World Team. She traveled on to Rome, Italy competing against England and Ireland and she won the GOLD! She was unable to compete in 2020 due to Covid-19 and is excited that she has the opportunity to compete again.