Master Rigan Machado (back left)

Jiujitsu club growing in Nelson

Originating in Castlegar, Kootenay Jiujitsu came to Nelson just over a year ago wanting to grow their sport into the local community.

A martial arts club with a 10-year history in the Kootenays is seeing success in the Queen City.

Originating in Castlegar, Kootenay Jiujitsu came to Nelson just over a year ago wanting to grow their sport into the local community.

“I like to think our jiujitsu classes offer something for almost everyone,” said instructor Brent James.

“If a person wants to get in shape, be more flexible, more coordinated, this class can help. If a person wants to learn to defend themselves and get strong, if a person wants to train to be a world champion, we have the skill set in our school to help the process of becoming an athlete.”

Jiujitsu originates from both judo and aikido. Judo was brought to Brazil where it became named Brazilian jiujitsu and it became popular in fight competition for its effectiveness and practicality.

James became interested in jiujitsu many years ago. He had been wrestling since junior high, ran practices during senior high and after graduation, then started training with mixed martial artists. “They introduced me to submissions and I started entering grappling tournaments,” he said.

Jiujitsu is a martial art that focuses on submission without harming your opponent.

“The beauty of jiujitsu is that being a submission art, there is no striking so a person can train at full speed with a lot less risk of injury than other martial arts,” said James.

Studying jiujitsu for eight years, James has now been teaching at Kootenay Jiujitsu under Ben Jolicoeur. They are affiliated with nine-time heavyweight world champion Rigan Machado, “a Brazilian jiujitsu legend.”

Late this winter, the club took 29 members to a tournament in Vernon.

With a great showing of talent and hard work, kids and adults brought home a combined total of 45 medals, including 15 gold, 17 silver and 13 bronze medals.

The team also brought home trophies for second place in the kids no-gi division, third place in the kids gi division, third place in the adult no-gi division and third place adult gi division.

The Nelson crew brought five competitors who came back with six medals — Hazel McDonald won silver in the girls division, Tzohi McDonald won bronze in the no-gi division, Tajudin McDonald won silver in the gi division, and Sejah McDonald won silver in gi division.

Nelson’s instructor Brent McDonald also won gold in the masters division and a bronze in the open weight class division.

“We are proud of the work all of the students have done, and more proud of the friendship and sportsmanship the team displayed,” said James.

“Many of the kids had to compete against members of their own team and they showed each other a lot of respect. We congratulate them.”

Kootenay Jiujitsu offers classes in Nelson for boys and girls as young as five as well as adults.

Anyone interested can call at 250-551-4026 or drop by their location for classes at 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at 646 Baker Street, under The Dollar Store at the Kootenai Physical Arts Centre.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Craig Korth: getting back in tune

Nelson’s master banjo player faces down a rare neurological disorder

School District 8: No visiting Chinese students have coronavirus

SD8 says its international students have already been screened for the virus

LETTER: Electrify new ferry

From the Nelson-Creston Green Party Riding Association

COLUMN: Slocan Valley environmentalist deserves thanks for tenacity

Marilyn Burgoon stepped in when no one else would to ensure justice in the Lemon Creek fuel spill

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Air Canada cancels select flights to China as coronavirus spreads

Canada’s largest airline runs 33 flights a week to China

Canadians seek way out of Wuhan as coronavirus continues to spread

The Chinese government has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Most Read