The Western Canadian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships is coming to the South Okanagan Events Centre this Saturday.
It is expected to have more than 400 participants from dozens of academies putting everything on the line. Among the competitors will be a handful of locals in Clay Davidson, Mason and Michael Poon and Dustin Frostad. Davidson is the only pro.
Erik Lund, instructor at Penticton’s Goes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, said he’s excited to have this event in Penticton and the opportunity it gives his students to show what they can do. With the Poon brothers, who have their blue belts, Lund has watched them develop on and off for three years and feels they will both perform well.
“Mason is very tough and technical,” said Lund. “I think he is a real contender in his feather weight division.”
Lund is also excited about Michael, who has done relatively well as a juvenile, which is considered a tough division.
As for Frostad, 13, it’s his first competition and Lund said he is one to watch.
“He’s a real up and comer,” said Lund, adding that Frostad embodies the sport well. “He is committed. He trains hard, loves the sport. He is very tough and technical. He works hard and never gives up.”
Lund has no expectations other than wanting to see Frostad have fun. Frostad has worked with Lund for just over a year and has progressed quickly, earning a yellow belt.
“He lives at the gym,” said Lund, adding that Frostad used to come five days a week before moving to Summerland.
Lund is also excited about the event and thinks the location at the SOEC is perfect and hopes to see a good crowd. He added that the sport has taken off in B.C. and expects a lot of quality jiu jitsu students.
John Davies, director of the event, said there are competitors coming from Edmonton, Vancouver Island, Oregon and Idaho. It will be the largest Jiu Jitsu event in Western Canada.
“It’s going to be a great event,” said Davies.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu also known as The Gentle Art, is a martial art, combat sport and self-defence art, which primarily focuses on grappling and submission.
The sport became prominent in the early 1990s when Royce Gracie brought BJJ to the Ultimate Fighter Championships, more known today as UFC. BJJ is a sport that is successfully practiced by men, women and children of different ages, sizes and physical abilities. The tournament is of extreme importance for the BJJ community in Canada. Also, it will be the first time Kurt Osiander has hosted The Kurt Osiander Finisher Series, a submission only tournament, north of the U.S. border. It’s an event for brown and black belts with cash prizes to be won. Doors open at 8 a.m. with matches scheduled throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Tickets are only available at the door and are $10 for adults. Children (12 and under) and seniors are free.