Recently we were featured in the local news because of our most recent tournament results.
Read the article below!
Stratford BJJ Academy strikes gold again
NIAGARA FALLS – Stratford Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy competed in Southwestern Ontario’s largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament here Saturday, March 28.
This was a new experience for the downtown Stratford martial arts academy. For the first time, they were competing as a larger team, with many of the competitors being their first time in competition.
“We had a few established martial artists with experience in competition from other martial arts,” said head instructor Ryan O’Shea. “They were who primarily competed during our first year of being open. This time we had a ton of new guys getting out there and testing themselves for the first time.”
For those who are not in the know, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art, developed by the Gracie family in Brazil.
It is a system of self defence based on techniques from Judo, Wrestling and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. It is known today as the most effective fighting system for self defence, proven in the first couple of UFC events held in the early 1990s that were no rules style versus style fights.
“The first few UFC events were essentially an infomercial for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu; they made martial arts champions put their skills on the line against each other to see who would win,” O’Shea explained.
“Royce Gracie walked through the competition for the first few events; no one had any idea how effective it was to nullify punches and kicks by dragging them to the floor. He submitted everyone.”
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now a popular sport in its own right. Gyms are popping up all across Canada to capitalize on the ever growing demand for the art because of its no-nonsense technique, and friendly on the body training methods.
Unfortunately, BJJ instructors are hard to come by in rural areas due to the low number of Brazilian born Black Belts in Canada as well as the time it takes to achieve a high enough rank to teach legitimately under them.
“We have construction workers, chefs, doctors, teachers, office people and factory workers that are women or men and range between 15 year olds and 50 year olds all training together safely,” O’Shea says.
“BJJ is low impact, doesn’t utilize strikes and focuses on the submission. All which leads to a controlled training environment. So long as you don’t have an ego and are always ready and willing to tap, you can train at full strength and with full resistance with anyone, which leads to an amazing workout of course.”
The tournament was held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Stratford BJJ sent a contingent of 10 competitors and for the first time ever a few kids competed as well. They returned with a total of 11 medals: two gold, three silver and six bronze.
“BJJ tournaments are held on one day, depending on your division you normally have to fight a minimum of three times over the course of an hour to medal, some larger tournaments it’s more like five minimum,” O’Shea says.
“Whereas other full contact arts you fight maybe once or twice. It means a lot that these students accomplished what they did.”
Stratford is already known for its food and music contributions. Martial arts seem to be evolving into a new area to be proud of.
Stratford BJJ Academy is located just blocks away from City Hall at 145 Erie Street, Unit 4.