On 16 December 2018, Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell hosted some of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) competitors in the world at the 1st UKBJJA International Open Tournament.
Following an opening ceremony presided over by North Lanarkshire Provost Jean Jones and MSP Clare Adamson, competitors from across Scotland and the UK took to the mats to fight it out with athletes from Brazil, Poland, Norway, Portugal, Finland and more to compete for the top prize of £2000.
Uniquely, the competition also offered equal prize money and equal billing to the female divisions. UKBJJA CEO Mike Williams said “it’s crazy that in this day an age women are not given the same opportunities, when they fight and train just as hard and compete on a level footing. We hope that we are setting a precedent that will shame other tournaments into following suit.”
In the end, a hard fought bronze medal from UK’s Samantha Cook prevented an exceptionally strong team of athletes from Finland from having a clean sweep of the women’s black belt podium.
Alongside the adult competition, a junior tournament sponsored by Tatami Fightwear allowed rising young stars of the sport test themselves against youngsters from across the UK, as well as meet and fight alongside some of their international Jiu Jitsu heroes.
Ticket sales and a generous donation of prize money by Black Belt Masters gold medallist and UKBJJA Chairman Richard Martin, meant that the event raised £882 for Cash4Kids Mission Christmas.
For more information, please contact Mike Williams, CEO, on 07748620235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 in the final stages of submitting a full application for 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 Facebook and Twitter @ukbjja.