Last week, Asena Melike Ağansoy of Corvos MMA in Istanbul, Turkey made history when she was promoted to black belt in BJJ, becoming Turkey’s first ever female BJJ black belt.
Her instructor, Burak Deger Bicer (Turkey’s first locally based black belt) did the honours in a very emotional ceremony. There were 2 more black belts awarded that night, Kaan Fazla and Melike’s brother Ugur Agansoy.
It took her an incredible 5 years to get promoted to black belt. During this time, she was training twice a day and competing all over the world. The story made the rounds of BJJ media and many people wanted to know more about her story.
His instructor Burak Deger Bicer received many messages and decided to let the world know. Through Jiu-Jitsu she was able to turn her life into something positive:
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)
Her 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.
You can read more about her story and BJJ in Turkey Here.