Yes, in Vulgar Latin and a lot of Church Latin, they used either «ille» or «ipse», for example, «ille homo», the man. Luigi Miraglia, possibly the most fluent speaker living, and who does lectures in Latin available on Youtube, uses definite articles when speaking. But it's OK to not use them, the classical norm is always without, but feel free to use them if you already speak a Romance language and it feels more natural to you; to each their own, or «suum cuique»!
This would be nice: latin speakers wouldnt have problems with the Woke ones.
Since the letter v gave origin ti both v and u, it's very likely the reconstruction of classical pronunciation.