Shyla Mulholland has world domination in her sights.

The Cromwell College pupil has just returned home after a stellar showing competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the United States.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a selfdefence martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds.

Shyla has been involved in the sport for eight years and has a swag of New Zealand and regional titles, including 43 gold medals testifying to her ability and dedication to the sport.

Cromwell College pupil Shyla Mulholland, 14, has just returned from competing in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu in the United States, where she won three State titles and runner up in a world title.

While in the US, competing against a larger pool of athletes, Shyla won three state titles — New Mexico State Champion and North Carolina State Champion in two weight classes — as well as North American Grappling Association (NAGA) North American Champion and a silver and bronze medal in the NAGA World Championships.

Competing in the US was an opportunity for Shyla to see how she stacked up on the world stage, father and number one supporter Marcus Mulholland said.

‘‘I kind of said before we left, ‘Look, I believe she is the best in the world’ and I didn’t have the context of seeing her compete over there.’’

Shyla won a bronze medal in the world championships as a 9-year-old, and the family had to decide if they wanted to ‘‘push hard’’. Marcus said he wanted it to be ‘‘organic’’ for her, and something she chose to pursue herself.

Joining the Magnus Martin’s BJJ Team in Cromwell and training under coach Jason Senna Magnago Smith reignited a fire for the sport in Shyla and she found herself training more than two hours a day because she loved it so much, Marcus said.

In the US Shyla was competing in expert divisions in her weight range and up to two divisions higher.

Cromwell College pupil and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion Shyla Mulholland, 14, with coach Jason Senna Magnago Smith, left, and dad Marcus Mulholland. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

Taking part in tournaments across states, with different rules, allowed Shyla to get a better picture of how she compared to other athletes — and the results were good.

‘‘I just said to her, you know, it’s just how you are on the day because it’s a sport, anything can happen — the best in the world lose sometimes.

‘‘But I honestly believe after getting back from [the US] that she still is the best in the world. I feel probably more confident saying that now than before we left,’’ Marcus said.

Shyla said she loved the international competition.

‘‘I wanted to see how good I was on the world stage,’’ she said.

‘‘It was really fun, awesome to do.’’

With a successful year under her belt, Shyla plans to return to compete in the US in April, this time with the world championship title in her sights.