PHOTOS: GMAA coach proud as punch
MARTIAL ARTS: The Gladstone Martial Arts Academy and the Fight Club Jiu Jitsu team in CQ set another record on the weekend with its Hyperfly Australia-sponsored in-house invitational junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament.
There were 41 athletes aged six to 15 who competed at the GMAA which was the biggest so far of such kind.
"The events were created to give the kids the ability to improve their Jiu Jitsu with competition experience without the negativity that sometimes comes from parents and coaches at bigger official tournaments," GMAA head coach Rob McIntyre said.
"Competitors and spectators are told at the beginning that cheering is compulsory but it must be totally positive and encouraging for the kids … nothing negative allowed," McIntyre said.
"There was some amazing technical battles including some tough bouts between kids from the Rockhampton and Gladstone clubs."
The event was in-house which meant divisions were controlled so all children got multiple "rolls" and the divisions were even and fair.
Isabelle Anderson and Jackson Mason were rewarded with best performances for using fantastic technique during their matches. Hyperfly Australia will send them rank-colour grappling rashies as their reward.
"With the concern of Covid-19 and the health and safety of our members and their families, we have decided to put a hold on all events at the Gladstone Martial Arts Academy until such time as it is deemed safe to have large group affairs again," McIntyre said.
"We had planned for six events and we have held two, with the next one scheduled in Rockhampton in May but all are on hold until further notice."
The club will definitely be holding more in the future and McIntyre said the youngsters were so successful.
"The kids and parents enjoy them so much that we have to keep them up," he said.
"This event we had more kids competing from only two clubs than the bigger official tournaments get at regional tournaments with five to 10 clubs participating which is pretty amazing."
GMAA has the biggest junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in Central Queensland.
McIntyre said respected Professor (Sensei) Daniel Lima oversaw 36 juniors being tested for the next belt level.
"In the Fight Club team, only black belts can award rank levels to students and so Professor Lima travels to Gladstone three times a year to oversee the testing," he said.
"It works well because he is also able to take part of the junior tournament and as a world-class competitor and referee he loved the atmosphere.
"The spirit and the skill of the kids competing on the weekend and the kids love having him there to watch them perform."