Saturday the 13th of February kicked off the competition season for the jiu jitsu misfits. The team set off for the 1st annual West of Scotland Brazilian jiu jitsu open, held at Ravenscraig Sports facility, Motherwell. A large contingent made up of both novice competitors and much more experienced ones made the long journey.
The first time competitors included Rorie Kerbidi, who was competing in both the no-gi beginners and gi white belt women's division. Despite it being her first ever competition she managed to medal in both her divisions exceeding all expectations placed on her. In her no-gi division she won bronze and in the gi she won silver.
(Bottom Misfit Rorie Kerbid attempting a sweep on her opponent)
In the gi her semi final match was a back and forth affair where Rorie was ultimately able to progress by advantage points after successfully implementing the guard bottom pressures looked at just that week in class. Unfortunately she lost in the final but overall it was a very impressive first showing on her part.
One of the slightly more experienced competitors was 17 year old Shay Montague, who despite only weighing in at 49kg managed to win both his under 61kg on-gi and under 64kg gi adult divisions. On the way to double gold Shay managed to submit all but one of his opponents and in his divisions only had two points scored against him. The highlight of the competition for this young man was finishing the final of his no-gi division by triangle choke in under 40 seconds.
(Top - Shay Montague looking for the finish from mount)
Another Misfits youngster who won double gold was Jamie Grigor (15). Jamie was competing in the combined juvenile no-gi and gi division. This was Jamie's first time competing at Juvenile after spending the last couple of years in the junior divisions and despite only having one other competitor in both his divisions, Jamie looked thoroughly dominant in his victory in both divisions.
Soon to be professional MMA fighter Ross Houston managed to take time out of his training program for his aforementioned debut to compete at the competition. Ross also won double gold in the advanced under 85kg no-gi division and the blue belt under 88kg division. Ross imposed his heavy top game on all his opponents, passing and then submitting almost all of them.
Long time team member Douglas Nevins also managed to win two medals a gold in his blue belt gi division and a bronze in the intermediate absolute (open weight). In the no-gi absolute Douglas was eliminated by the eventual winner by fellow misfit team member Kenny Macleod. In his gi category Douglas was able to cruise to victory by linking his always fantastic wrestlingwith his much improved passing. To top off Douglas great day, he landed one of the most spectacular submissions of the competition with an armbar that was shockingly reminiscent of Davi Ramos’s flying armbar in last years ADCC. After the success of Kenny in the No Gi Absolute he went on to claim a bronze medal in the white belt Gi Division to add to his collection.
Club seniors (over 30 years old) Kam Cheng and Raymond Chow were also in action with Kam losing narrowly in the blue belt/intermediate quarter-final. Raymond who was competing for the first time had a fantastic outing taking away a silver medal in lightweight white belt Gi division.
Also competing was white belts Jamie Steel, Robin Clark and blue belt Mathew Foster, unfortunately they lost there opening match but all gave great displays and are excited to get back in the gym to correct mistakes.
(Top - Martin Donaldson looking for the back)
Last up was the Jiu Jitsu Misfits head coach Martin Donaldson ,Not only did Martin coach his team mates to success, he looked unstoppable while competing himself, claiming double gold in the elite no-gi and purple belt gi divisions. Martin submitted all but one of his opponents while having no points scored on him. Martin's exquisite passing was on full display, with none of his opponents appearing to have any sort of answers to his technique.
Overall the West of Scotland Jiu Jitsu open was a very successful day out for the Jiu Jitsu Misfits. Even though not everyone representing the team won a medal, it was a great experience for all involved with everyone learning something and coming back to Moray a better grappler than they were when they left. Furthermore,the fantastic results and large medal tally reinforced the Misfits standing as one of Scotland's best Jiu Jitsu teams.
(all photos by Scott Hills)