Martial artists from Elite Martial Arts Academy in Whitehorse won six medals at the 2019 Alaska State No-Gi Submission Grappling Championships on Nov. 2 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska. (Submitted/Elite Martial Arts Academy)

Whitehorse grapplers win half dozen medals at Alaska State No-Gi Grappling Championships

The 11 athletes from Elite Martial Arts Academy won two silver and four bronze medals

Eleven Brazilian jiu-jitsu players from Whitehorse were at the 2019 Alaska State No-Gi Submission Grappling Championships on Nov. 2 in Anchorage, Alaska.

The group trains at Elite Martial Arts Academy in Marwell and brought back six medals — an improvement over last year’s total.

Bobby Woodman, an instructor at Elite, said he was impressed with how the gym’s contingent did at the event.

“It went really well. Much better than last year,” said Woodman. “A lot more improvement. All in all, it was much more positive. The competition was really good too, but it was just really good all the way around.”

Woodman and a number of others in the group had the benefit of seeing the competition last year and being able to prepare for the level and style of competition they’d be seeing this year.

That experience coupled with overall general improvement led to the increased medal count and success.

“We had some newer people that didn’t compete (last year) compete this year,” said Woodman. “A couple of us already kind of knew going into it (what to expect). I think everybody learned a lot.”

On the mats, the six medals were split between five of the 11 jiu-jitsu players.

Woodman won silver in the men’s advanced 176-pound (80-kilogram) division and instructor Dan Hombert won silver in the men’s advanced 215-pound (98-kg) division as well as bronze in the men’s advanced absolute division.

Aliyah Fortier won bronze in the women’s advanced absolute division, James Fortier won bronze in the men’s intermediate 189-pound (85-kg) division, and Kyle Nightingale won bronze in the men’s intermediate 149-pound (68-kg) division.

Woodman said one of Nightingale’s matches stood out as a highlight.

“Kyle did a fireman’s carry, which he has maybe attempted twice in the gym here, and he just committed to it and threw (his opponent) over his head,” said Woodman. “It was beautiful. He ended up wining that match. That was a major highlight for me – seeing that happen and him being able to pull out the win.”

Watching his students compete is something Woodman said is his favourite part of going to these competitions.

“That’s the best part. I like that more than competing,” said Woodman. “Just watching them display all that we’re teaching and be able to pull it off successfully — win and dominate and have good positions and not freak out. Their maturity has come so far in just a year. … I love watching everybody grow and perform.”

This year’s championships were held at the Alaska Airlines Center, as the high school usually used for the event was damaged in an earthquake.

“(It’s) a beautiful space. That’s where they have their pro fights – (the Alaska Fighting Championship),” said Woodman. “It was a really nice setup; it was really well-run again.”

Getting to Anchorage from Whitehorse can be a challenge, and this trip had a couple of unexpected detours.

The car Woodman was travelling in was delayed after a rock from a road resurfacing truck punctured a tire, and the Fortier car was stopped in Tok, Alaska, thanks to whiteout conditions.

Despite the delays, all 11 participants made it to the event in time to compete.

Woodman and company are looking ahead towards either the Alberta Open in Calgary or a return trip to Anchorage for the gi championships in the spring.

In the mean time, training continues.

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

Sports

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

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read