Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight their way to bronze at UKBJJA

Brazillian Jiu Jitsu took bronze at their first competition of the year with five gold, three silver and two bronze individual placings.

On the 25th November, the Brazillian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) society competed in a UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association (UKBJJA) competition at Warwick University. BJJ is a grappling combat sport where competitors aim to control and then submit each other. Matches start from the feet with both competitors aiming to takedown, control and submit their opponent on the floor. Matches run for a minimum of five minutes and can only end earlier if one competitor manages to make the other tap/submit- whether this be through a joint lock or choke. Submissions are positions in which an opponent is forced to tap/submit otherwise could suffer a bone breakage or passing out unconscious. Otherwise, a point’s decision will be given to the competitor who won more advantageous and controlling positions.

The UKBJJA are a national organisation that put together BJJ Competitions for Universities to stake their claim as the best Brazillian Jiu Jitsu society in the UK. Last weekend was our first competition of this academic year and University of Leeds successfully came third out of all the universities that competed.

Divisions are separated by weight and experience. There are beginner (up to two years), intermediate (up to three years) and advanced (plus three years). All matches are either gi or no gi. In gi matches, competitors are required to wear a gi (martial arts suit that looks like pyjamas) which has a larger focus on grips. No gi events are faster moving. Matches are set up in a tournament scenario, where competitors will need to have up to five matches to take gold.

All together the University of Leeds took 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 2 bronze, with medals coming from the intermediate and beginner divisions. Everyone who competed fought their hearts out, with some of our competitors having to pull out of their brackets due to injury.

The medal winners included Nathan Wanjau, who in only his second competition won three gold medals, one in the beginner no gi category, another in the beginner gi category and his third in the beginner Absolute Openweight division in which he had to fight opponents of any and all sizes. Alannah Russell took gold in her weight categroy and bronze in the Absolute Openweight female division. Chinyere ‘Lily’ Chilliredclaw Wokocha also claimed gold in the beginner Absolute Openweight no gi women’s division, alongside silver and bronze in gi women’s division. Finally, Sean Maguiness competed in the Intermediate division and came away with double silver in both gi and no gi under 69kg division.

If you’d like to find out more about the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu society here at Leeds, please visit their page or head to their Facebook group