Control Jiu Jitsu Kids at CopaSask

 From Left to Right: Wyatt Johnson (2 Bronze),  Asher Booth (1 Silver, 1 Bronze), Carter Beliveau (2 Bronze), Colton Bevan (1 Silver, 1 Bronze), Paxton Nelson (1 Gold, 1 Silver), Yuan Harvey Fabellon (1 Bronze), Roque Spaan-Murray (2 Bronze).  Absent from photo: Kenzie Woods, Vander Woods and Julia Wilson

From Left to Right: Wyatt Johnson (2 Bronze),  Asher Booth (1 Silver, 1 Bronze), Carter Beliveau (2 Bronze), Colton Bevan (1 Silver, 1 Bronze), Paxton Nelson (1 Gold, 1 Silver), Yuan Harvey Fabellon (1 Bronze), Roque Spaan-Murray (2 Bronze).

Absent from photo: Kenzie Woods, Vander Woods and Julia Wilson

Nick Murray

The kids from Control Jiu-Jitsu were up to their usual hijinks on Saturday morning: kicking butt and forgetting names.

 Kenzie Woods working a triangle choke in a match against her teammate Harvey Fabellon.

Kenzie Woods working a triangle choke in a match against her teammate Harvey Fabellon.

10 youth students from the Moose Jaw club journeyed to Winston Knoll Collegiate in Regina to take part in the CopaSask: The Saskatchewan cup of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestling. It was a days worth of violence, blood, tears and slick submissions.

Coach Donald Booth was impressed with his students performances. "The kids did very well" he said. "We’ve seen a big improvement in their performance compared to the last tournament. Last time we had several matches lost to rear-naked choke, so giving up your back was something we focused on when we got back to the gym. This time around we had much fewer incidences where they had their backs taken." 

Unlike at the Western Open, back in April, this time every one of their students brought home some new jewelry. This time around they even took home a few Golds.

 Roque Spaan-Murray and Paxton Nelson

Roque Spaan-Murray and Paxton Nelson

Paxton Nelson won top prize in the Roosterweight Gi division, eking out a gritty battle over his teammate Wyatt Johnson in the semis before defeating another Teammate, Kenzie Woods, in the finals.

"This was Paxton's first Tournament and it was great for me, as a coach, to watch him compete and win Gold" said Coach Chad Beliveau

About Paxton, coach Booth added, "He comes to us with some judo and wrestling experience, so that helps a lot. He’s a great student at the gym and is always very attentive and puts in the effort."

In the Roosterweight No Gi division, the same two competitors squared off in the finals, only this time, it was Kenzie Woods who came out the victor. Kenzie's story is interesting. There weren't enough girls in her weight and age category to create a division, so she competed against the boys and won anyways.

"Kenzie is another example of a great student." Said Coach Booth. "Her parents are also very dedicated to the club and her development and will often bring her around for extra classes and work on her Jiu Jitsu at home. She happened to be in the boys division this time but it’s really not much different than a regular day at the gym for her. She’s ready to take on anyone. We are super proud of her achievements."

Coach Beliveau added, "Kenzie was on fire this weekend. She showed a lot of heart and was fierce on the mats. It just shows how hard she has been working at class."

 Coach Donald Booth with son Asher Booth

Coach Donald Booth with son Asher Booth

In other action Colton Bevan, Julia Wilson and Asher Booth all took home silver medals. Between classmates, they came home with 11 Bronzes, as well.

The kids were vastly improved this tournament. Coach Beliveau said "the kids displayed better technique,  aggressiveness and composure."

But it wasn't just the students learning new things. The coaches did too.

"As a coach" Booth said, "I’ve learned that each tournament will be filled with emotional highs and lows. The kids go out there and try their best and it’s our job to prepare them for that situation. Each match exposes what the students are good at and where they need to make improvements." 

 Vander Woods and Kenzie Woods

Vander Woods and Kenzie Woods

Beliveau added, "patience is key in dealing with youngsters. You have to be firm with the discipline but you also need to make it fun for them to learn. Helping teach them the basic techniques has also helped me become a better student myself."

Control Jiu Jitsu has kids classes on Wednesdays at 5:00 and on Sundays at 12:00.

"Jiu Jitsu is great for kids" Coach Booth said. "It builds confidence and discipline through the training. It’s a fun atmosphere at the gym and we always have smiling happy kids leaving class.

"It is great physical exercise", added Coach Beliveau, "It helps teach kids to be respectful of others, disciplined and gives them a lot of self confidence. As well, Jiu Jitsu helps with problem solving and how to make quick decisions."

A selection of Adult students also attended the tournament. Nathan Bernard won a pair of gold medals. and Cody Enns also won one.

Competitors from 18 different clubs entered into the tournament. Control BJJ won a  combined total of 25 medals. 5 Gold, 5 Silver and 15 Bronze. With 75 points, they had the fifth highest output; trailing behind Complete MMA, Sweep Science Regina, MMAC/Infight and Queens City Martial Arts.