Nigerian woman left in coma by martial artist dies in hospital

Kung fu killer revealed to be "neither Shaolin master nor a monk"

Friends of a Nigerian woman who has died after allegedly being beaten by a kung fu instructor hold a demonstration against gender violence in Bilbao on Tuesday.
Friends of a Nigerian woman who has died after allegedly being beaten by a kung fu instructor hold a demonstration against gender violence in Bilbao on Tuesday. Alfredo Aldai (EFE)

The Nigerian woman who was allegedly beaten up by kung fu martial artist Juan Carlos Aguilar, and who was left in a coma after the assault, has died. Mauren Ada Ortuya, a 29-year-old prostitute, passed away shortly after 12pm on Wednesday, according to the Basurto hospital in Bilbao, where she had been receiving treatment after police found her Sunday at Aguilar’s gym.

Ortuya was taken to hospital in a very serious condition, after being found badly beaten all over her body and with her hands, neck and feet tied. Further investigations by the police of the gym and the home of Juan Carlos Aguilar revealed human remains, which the self-styled kung fu expert admitted had belonged to a Colombian woman, whom he had also killed.

Initial press reports suggested that Aguilar had won a number of competitions and championships for his martial arts skills. According to the alleged killer, he returned from China 20 years ago having received extensive training. He liked his students to call him “master.” But it appears that this was all the stuff of fantasy.

The Spanish Karate Federation issued a statement on Tuesday clarifying that it has never had any associations with Aguilar, and that he never won any kung fu competitions in Spain. A number of people who had fought with him described him as “good on the technical side, but not a great fighter,” while others have said that he was more of an “acrobat” than a “monk.”

What’s more, Shaolin Temple Spain, the only center in Spain that is recognized by the Shaolin Temple in China, confirmed on Wednesday that Aguilar is not a Shaolin master and nor is he a monk.

Shi Fu Carlos Álvarez, a master and representative of Shaolin Temple Spain, said that the murder suspect “lacks all of the requisites to be [a monk]. Unfortunately, many Chinese certificates are obtained in an irregular manner,” he added.

Since his return to Spain in 1995, after supposedly having spent time training in a Shaolin temple, Aguilar attempted to carve out a role as the only reference point with regard to kung fu in Spain, specifically the Shaolin style. He made a number of appearances in videos and publications, as well as on television shows.

But these activities, along with his arrogant character, saw him ruffling a lot of feathers within the complicated world of martial arts. “When he came back from China he wanted anything to do with kung fu to go through him,” explains Juan Carlos Serrato, an athlete who received a diploma in the Shaolin temple of Henan, China, in 1994 – around the same time that Aguilar is supposed to have been in the country.

“He had been involved in taekwondo, but all of a sudden he appeared dressed in orange and as a kung fu master. But he has never shown anyone a certificate, and in China they give you one of those when you have taken part in a course,” said Serrato.

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