Five students from Arashi-Do in Sylvan Lake attended the Heroes Memorial open martial arts tournament in Blackfalds, Jan. 20 and brought home an impressive amount of hardware.
Up first were brothers George and Lincoln Cai, competing in two forms of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ); Gi and No Gi. The difference between the two styles has to do with clothing. Gi grappling allows you to grab your opponent’s clothing, or Gi. No Gi grapplers wear shorts and a rash guard rather than the traditional uniform. Fighters are not allowed to grab their opponent’s clothing.
George was attending his first competition and placed first in Gi, and third in No-Gi. This was an impressive win and first tournament showing.
Lincoln took first in both styles. With his first opponent he started off slow, losing his first match in the best-of-three, but then won the second on points and the third in submission.
Colt Jordan attended this tournament as well. He was up against George in the 4 to 6-year-old 40 to 50 pounds Gi Division. Colt fought well, ending up in second place behind George.
Colt then competed in the Muay Thai division. He had a long day but ended up first in his division with nine competitors.
Up next was Logan Jordan. Logan took a bronze in Gi, which was a great job after moving up significantly in the age and experience divisions since the last tournament he had. However, his nerves got the best of him in Muay Thai and while he did not place, he put on a great show.
Next up was Stephanie Schmale competing in the adult BJJ. Stephanie has been competing in martial arts for many years and started BJJ less than two months ago. With very little competitive experience in BJJ, she was able to do well, took a second in Gi and a third in No-Gi. Her coaches reported she did an excellent job of listening to them and finished “exceptionally.”
Renshi Ken, head instructor of Arashi-Do Sylvan Lake refereed the tournament and said the level of skill he observed was “excellent.”
“Our students from Sylvan had some great skills to match those they competed against. I was especially impressed by how well everyone listened to the people coaching them,” he said, also saying he was grateful for the coaching help from Wolfgang, a teacher from Red Deer and Neil, a teacher from Edmonton.
Renshi Ken teaches karate, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiujitsu in Sylvan Lake.