Penticton’s Goes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team had a memorable provincial qualifying tournament debut in Calgary with four members winning five medals.
Brian Booth, of Penticton, placed first in the beginners jiu-jitsu heavyweight division and third in the open grappling division, while Greg Nield of Summerland, took first in the beginner’s light heavyweight division and Dane Gartner also of Summerland, placed first in the beginner’s middleweight division. Naramata’s Rob Simmerling placed third in the beginner’s lightweight division. “It felt great,” said Booth of his win on May 8 in Calgary. “Everything that I worked for finally came and I accomplished what I wanted to there. I was happy with the way things turned out.” Following 10 months of training, Booth, a new student of Erik Lund’s at Goes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, was surprised by the results. Booth said “it wasn’t easy by any means” but it turned out the way he wanted as he trained hard. “This is my first jiu-jitsu tournament,” he said. “I was pretty nervous at first but after a couple of matches you settle down and kind of get into it. It was a little scary off the bat. Just in front of a crowd and all your coaches.” Both Booth and Gartner credited Lund with preparing them for the event. “I was real nervous and great to get out there and benchmark against other schools and other people that were training,” said Gartner. “It was hard work, dedication, superior coaching. In the end, we all got the result that we wanted.” Gartner also liked that the event provided a window to see where they are with their skills and the progress made. “There is a long way to go, this is just the start,” he said. “I was really impressed with the level of the competition at this event,” said Lund, who noted it isn’t common for athletes new to the sport to have such success. “Even though our guys have been training for less than a year they were able to beat the best that southern Alberta had to offer across three separate weight classes. If we can do this after only one year, I’m excited to see what the future holds for our team.”