Five Yukon Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors were in Calgary for the Alberta Provincial Open Championships on May 12 and 13. From left to right: Dan Hombert, Ashley Denisoff, Robert Woodman, James Fortier and Aliyah Fortier (Submitted/Yukon News)

Five medals for five Whitehorse grapplers at Alberta Provincial Open Championship

Elite Martial Arts Academy athletes win gold medal, silver medal and three bronze medals

Five Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors from Whitehorse put on an impressive display in Calgary at the Alberta Provincial Open Championship from May 12 to 13.

All five athletes finished on the podium with one gold, one silver and three bronzes.

Aliyah Fortier, a white belt competing in the 13- to 15-year-old female 146 to 155 pound division, earned gold after winning both her matches — one via armbar and one via points.

Instructor Dan Hombert said he was impressed by her composure, particularly when she was in bad positions. For someone so young to be so calm under pressure is something he said stood out.

Hombert, competing in the brown belt heavy 30 and above male division, earned a silver after splitting his two matches.

His victory was via armbar at 1:13 after his opponent tried to pull away from a triangle chokehold.

Ashley Denisoff competed in the white belt heavy adult female division, finishing with a record of one win and two losses.

Her win came on points in her third match after she and her opponent reached the five-minute time limit.

Coach Bobby Woodman in the blue belt middle adult male division finished third after a submission loss following a bye into the semifinals.

White belt James Fortier finished third in the heavy adult male division after losing by submission in his only match.

It was the first time most of the athletes from Elite Martial Arts Academy competed in a tournament, so Hombert said the way everyone stayed calm and composed in their matches was noteworthy.

There’s a big difference between training in the gym and being in a competitive match, he said. Gym sessions are usually at 70 to 80 per cent effort, don’t have the flood of adrenaline competition brings and don’t focus on points.

“We’re being mindful of points, obviously, but we’re not keeping track of score,” said Hombert. “The only way to really lose in the gym is by submission, whereas at a tournament you can lose on points. That gives it just that little bit more sense of urgency because you can actually be down on points.”

Points in jiu-jitsu are awarded for things like takedowns and advancing position, meaning things like passing the guard — getting around the opponent’s legs — or maintaining side control or a mount position.

The scoring system makes it easier for the athlete on top to score points, but Hombert explained some competitors prefer to operate from the bottom.

“Against someone that is physically stronger … it might be hard to get a takedown,” said Hombert. “So [you] might just prefer to go to the guard where [you] can just attack right away.”

That strategy eliminates the possible bad position a grappler could end up in if he or she is taken down by the opponent.

Hombert said most people settle on favouring one position over the other.

“The goal is for everyone to be well rounded in everything,” said Hombert. “[But] when you’re developing your game, usually someone will take a liking to one or the other a little bit more.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Judge dismisses Whitehorse fentanyl smuggling case against Toronto man

Judge Michael Cozens dismissed the case against Jibril Hosh Jibril on May 23

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Territory readies for Operation Nanook

Military exercise will test the Yukon’s emergency preparedness

Federal government announces $1.5 million in funding for 2020 Arctic Winter Games

The funding makes the Government of Canada the single largest contributor to the games

YG mulls tying payment of environmental fines to driver’s licences

About $200K in fines are still owed, some from as late as 1989

Yukon youth set to show off their skills to the rest of Canada

Eighteen Yukoners have qualified for the Skills Canada National Competition at the end of the month

EDITORIAL: Yes, even killers deserve due process

No one benefits when the Yukon government is focused on denying it uses solitary confinement

Record turnout for Tour de Haines Junction cycling stage race

The field of 21 riders is the largest in the history of the event

Olympic opportunity for Yukon athletes at RBC Training Ground event

“At this age group, it’s just about saying yes to opportunities. Go out. Try it out, if you like it.”

History Hunter: The Dublin Gulch story: Part two

Despite depopulation during World War I, 14 men were reported still engaged… Continue reading

Commentary: Mining for clean energy

The infrastructure for clean energy requires mining

Yukonomist: The Yukon’s first Tesla powers through winter

So far, electric cars are still a novelty in the Yukon

Whitehorse city news, briefly

A summary of some of the decisions made at the May 13 council meeting

Most Read