Greg Nield and Wes Govan returned to Penticton from the provincial Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships with some bling.
The two members of the Goes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team won two gold and three silver medals at the B.C. provincial championships in Langley on May 5.
Nield, a Summerland resident, won gold in the blue belt heavyweight division and took silver in the absolute division, which is open to medal winners of any weight.
Nield won all matches in the heavyweight division via submission without a single point being scored against him.
Nield’s run for gold in the absolute division was stopped short in the final match by defending champion and 2012 Pan Jiu-Jitsu silver medalist Chad Shaule of Gracie Barra Vancouver.
“It was a surprise,” said Nield of his results. “I didn’t expect to get that because it takes quite a few years of training to get to that level. I have been at it for a short while (less than two years). I was just happy to get a couple wins.”
Nield faced strong competitors, who he said were technically better than him. Because of that he used a lot of wrestling and just a few moves that really worked. Nield said that approach was better than trying to get too fancy. Facing competitors with up to four and five years of training, Nield knew he had to work a little bit harder. Nield wasn’t too upset about losing in the final of the absolute division. He was just happy to get to the final.
What Nield enjoyed of the experience was meeting competitors and the sportsmanship among everyone.
Govan, 17, also from Summerland, won gold in the white-belt juvenile middleweight division. Govan also took silver in the juvenile middleweight no gi grappling division.
Govan said he was nervous going in because of lot of his competitors were bigger.
“I thought I performed good but I could have done better,” he said. “I was happy with the overall outcome.”
What he learned during the championship was to not be so nervous and to not hold his grip so tight. He noticed that his arms were very sore after his matches. Govan credited his success to coach Erik Lund and the guys he trains with. Most of them are bigger, and that helps him know what he can do going into matches. Lund was able to provide a calming influence when Govan felt nervous.
Brian Booth, Penticton, won silver in the white-belt master’s ultra-heavyweight division.
The first annual B.C. provincial championships were put on by the Canadian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (CBJJF), which is the Canadian affiliate of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial that became popular after the one-sided victories of Royce Gracie in the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Goes Jiu-Jitsu competition team trains and fights out of the Goes Jiu-Jitsu gym in Penticton, founded in April 2010 by Lund, a former national champion.