More medal joy as students go for gold in the Junior League
The Berwick-based TF Fitness Centre Checkmat Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team were once again on their travels last weekend, making the relatively short journey to Newcastle to compete in the August round of the North East Kids BJJ League.
The league competition was swelled this time with the addition of around 30 competitors from a gym in Huddersfield, giving the TF competitors some new challenges. However, the event was delayed over an hour as their bus broke down en-route to the competition.
First up for the TF team, as none of the late-running Huddersfield competitors were in his division, was Matheos Ferreira, and it’s fair to say that he set the example for his team mates, winning both his fights inside the distance, his first win via armbar, his second via a very tight americana hold.
There was a big wait for all the other TF competitors, and almost two hours after Matheos fought, the next TF competitor hit the mats, and it was a very wound up and frustrated Hayden Ainslie.
Hayden again had one of the biggest divisions on the day, but he went on with the right attitude and won both his quarter final and semi final in dominating fashion, winning both via technically superb armbars.
He then moved into his final, competing against a yellow belt, and the fight ended 2-2 on points, which meant it went to the referee’s decision, and frustratingly for Hayden, the referee chose his opponent, meaning a hard-earned silver.
Next up saw TF guest competitor Raheem Fernandez enter the competition. Raheem and his brother Junior are visiting from another Checkmat affiliated gym in London and ‘Ra’, as he is known to his teammates, showed his prowess, winning his division with two stoppages, one via armbar, and the second via a mounted triangle, a very hard move to pull off for adults, let alone youngsters.
With three competitors gone, it was now time for the Anderson brothers to compete.
First up was Duncan, who once again had to move up an age group to find any opposition. He made it to the final, but just came up short on the day against a 10-year-old opponent. Duncan only turned seven at the end of July and lost on points so a disappointed Duncan earned silver.
Older brother Rory followed, and despite looking very nervous due to the delay, he put on some unbelievable technical jiu-jitsu against opponents of a higher belt. He won his first via armbar, and after being taken down in the final, produced the most technically perfect sweep and finished his opponent via a choke to win another gold medal for his expanding collection.
Final TF competitor was the middle of the Anderson brothers, Oliver, who was put in a division of much older and higher belt athletes as nobody else turned up for his original division.
His first fight was very slow to start, but Oliver exploded with a double leg takedown, controlled his opponent and finished him via an armbar. He went into the final, and in a first for him, was looking up at a taller opponent. He gave his all, but the extra size and experience proved too much in the end and just before the end of the fight he was forced to submit to a tight americana hold, giving him a silver medal.
A distraught Oliver was consoled by his team mates and soon brought round by some wise words from visiting fighter Junior Fernandez, who said: “It’s not losing, it’s learning.”
There were six competitors on the day from TF Checkmat, and three gold medals and three silver medals is a very impressive showing.