A teenager from East Sheen in South West London has taken an amazing fourth consecutive gold medal at the prestigious English Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Junior and Juvenile Championships last weekend in the Green Belt division.
Billy is 14 years old and attends Grey Court School in Ham, Surrey. He has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since he was 5 years old.
The English Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Junior and Juvenile Championships took place at Dartford Judo Club on October 16, 2016 and saw hundreds of competitors from across the UK and overseas fight for a chance at a medal.
This is Billy’s fourth consecutive gold medal at this event and Billy is also the 2015 European champion (Over 55kg, orange belt) and 2016 British Junior National champion (Over 55kg, orange belt). He is one of the highest ranked youngsters in the UK. His ambition is to earn his black belt, compete at the world championships and ultimately travel the world training and competing in BJJ.
Billy trains at Carlson Gracie London under Professor Alain Pozo and also cross trains in Judo with Paul Ajala. He is also a keen rugby player, representing his school team. When asked about his training and how it compared to rugby, he said “I really enjoy the sparring aspect and the competing. It’s hard to say which experience has been the best because I’ve enjoyed every competition I’ve won. It’s very different because in rugby you have to rely on your team but in Jiu Jitsu I only rely on myself.”
Billy’s father, Simon Hayes said: “Billy loves training and I think competition is an incredibly healthy past time for children and teenagers who gain an awful lot from learning how to win and lose. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has given Billy a confidence to tackle issues logically and strategically in every area of his life.”
Although relatively new to the UK, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is now one of the fastest growing sports in the world with over 10,000 people regularly training in gyms across the UK. The governing body is the UKBJJA (http://www.ukbjja.org) which aims to get more youngsters through regular kids’ competitions and a national ranking system.
With such dedication and positive attitude, plus excellent support from his family, team, coach and sponsors, the future looks extremely bright for Billy and he is sure to be winning medals on the world stage soon.
About the UKBJJA:
The UKBJJA (www.ukbjja.org) is a not-for profit organisation which aims to provide a governance structure for the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, that promotes and develops the sport while allowing individual clubs and practitioners the space and freedom to practice the martial art in the way they enjoy. The UKBJJA is currently under assessment to be recognised by Sport England as the governing body for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the UK.
The UKBJJA was formed in 2013, and the association’s goal is to foster the development of BJJ at elite, community and grassroots levels, raising the profile of the sport but also providing pathways for development and involvement across communities in the UK. Visit UKBJJA at www.ukbjja.org or follow us on Twitter @ukbjja.