Control Jiu Jitsu at Western Open Kids BJJ Championships
Ten students from Moose Jaw's Control Jiu Jitsu travelled to Regina on Saturday to compete in the fifth annual Western Kids Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships at Winston Knoll Collegiate.
Students from 10 different clubs, some from as far away as Winnipeg, competed in the event.
Eight kids from Control brought home some new jewelry.
Roque Spaan-Murray took home a hard earned Bronze medal in the boys 7-8 Featherweight division.
When asked how he felt about winning the medal, he said "not good. I don't like it. I want to win gold or silver."
Regardless, Roque has plans for his medal. "I will put it in my special box with my love notes and all my other special stuff" he said.
Teagan Goslin also won a medal; a bronze in the girls 7-8 featherweight division. She had other plans for her new bling. "I'll ask my dad to put a nail in the wall, and I will hang it up in my bedroom" she said.
This was the fifth year the tournament was held, but on account of Control BJJ is a pretty new club, this was the first time the coaches entered a team.
"I'm very much impressed" said coach Chad Beliveau. "These kids have learned so much in the last year since the club opened. Coach Donald Booth was likewise impressed with his team's performance. "they did a really good job" he said. "We have been at this for about a year. For most of these kids, it's their first tournament. They went out there and did their best."
For many of the kids involved, doing their best also meant overcoming emotions and adversity. Many tears were shed, after children lost tough and often painful matches.
"They're kids; some of them are only six years old. There are a lot of highs and lows in this sport. A lot of kids get emotional in their first fights; then they get out there and fight again" said Coach Booth
Control BJJ's head coach, Jason Church, echoed those sentiments. "As much as we train in the gym; they're still just kids" he said.
Coach Booth says the sport often parallels life, in that every failure opens the door to a learning experience.
"Well, losing is a part of life" said Rob Desnomie, a tournament volunteer and Jiu Jitsu practitioner. "Its something we have to expect. It's the same, in a lot of ways with Jiu Jitsu. It can transfer into real life. You don't always win. You grow from that."
"I'm always impressed when kids just step on a mat" said Coach Church. "It's intimidating. They are over-coming adversity and nervousness. It's just about not giving up. Kids lose a match; everyone loses, and sometimes they get emotional. But then they just step in again. Rinse, repeat and back to the practice room."
The event wasn't just a learning experience for the competitors, but it was for the coaches as well.
"I've learned what to fine tune and what to focus on" said Coach Church. "When we get back to the gym we are going to work on more submissions; rear-naked chokes, arm bars, paintbrushes...and more takedowns and positions; always more positions."
Even Scott Schultz, the former Saskatchewan Roughrider and CFL All-Star, was in attendance. He had two children competing in the tournament and is a big fan of Jiu Jitsu in general.
"Jiu Jitsu is just great exposure to martial arts, for sure, this is a great sport" he said.