Control Kids at Queen City Open
The kids from Control Jiu Jitsu were back in competition on Saturday October 20th at the Annual Queen City Open held at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill high school in Regina.
13 students participated in the event; the kids went home with a combined record of 18 wins and 24 losses. Most of the students also took home medals.
This was the third tournament the team has entered and they've seen steady improvement with each one.
"We've seen many positive things" said Coach Jason Church, adding that the coaches have been smiling through the whole process as the club gets bigger and better.
Coach Church added that the club is now being recognized as an up-and-coming threat that is churning out tough competitors capable of winning gold medals.
"The kids have made some improvements over the last tournament" said Coach Donald Booth. "We managed to secure some podium spots again, which is great for us."
At the Copa Sask back in June the kids won Gold twice and at the Western Open, which was the club's debut event, the kids went without Gold. This time around they surpassed both combined, winning three golds, as well as a multitude of Silver and Bronze.
"It shows they have been paying attention and working hard during class to get better" noted Coach Chad Beliveau.
"The best thing about these events is that it gives kids a chance to practice their skills, get experience in a tournament setting and watch their teammates" said Coach Church, adding that "nothing builds community like winning and losing together."
As with all competitions of this sort, it isn't just the students who learn. The coaches do too. For instance, Coach Church commented how he was keen on noticing how each kid competes and responds to his coaching. He is pleased with the progress but recognizes areas that could be improved.
"We will be going back to the drawing board, analyzing what skills need work and making them better. We see we need to promote the notion of being first to attack, hitting and keeping position and working on escapes."
Quote: "A gold medal doesn't mean we stop working." Church
Coach Booth added that they are still working on securing positions long enough to get points. "We lost a couple matches to points because we didn’t secure the position long enough before going for the submission."
Coach Church expressed the same sentiment, adding that that they would also focus on escapes, aggression and takedowns.
Coach Beliveau had a different perspective on what he learned. Always the optimist, he focused on the accomplishments of some of the students, particularly the ones who ended up fighting against competitors much larger or with much more experience than them.
"They are true warriors, they fought hard to the end" he said.
Roque Spaan-Murray won two Gold medals at the event, finishing with a record of six wins and zero losses.
For Roque, Jiu Jitsu is more of a means to an end than anything else.
"I wanna be Black Panther" he said. Apparently Black Panther has mastered every martial art.
Roque says his technique is just to be really aggressive. About the championship match of the No Gi tournament, he said "I felt like I might lose because Kaden Lieu (from Complete MMA in Regina) is really good and he had already beaten one of my teammates (Dominic Myers). I tried to get him in an arm bar but couldn't get it."
The ref ended up calling the fight even though Lieu hadn't tapped out. The decision to do so is in the hands of the referee. If they feel a lock could lead to injury and the fighter isn't giving up they reserve the right to call it a submission.
"I won three fights by submission and three by points" Roque said.
Roque is excited to see if that success can carry over to the Sask BJJ Provincial Championships, which are being held right here in Moose Jaw on November 10th at the Yara Centre.
The event will be hosted by the club. An opportunity for the kids, and the adults who take Jiu Jitsu at Control, to compete on their home soil "in front of family and friends" said Coach Church. "Nothing is more special than having grandma and grandpa there cheering them on."
"Hopefully Control Jiu Jitsu will be home to several provincial champs next month" said Coach Booth.
Here is a brief summary of the medal winners.
One Gold, One Bronze