Geraldton fights its way to the top at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu State Championships

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Tahj Smith with coach Israel Ribeiro.
Camera IconTahj Smith with coach Israel Ribeiro. Credit: Supplied

Competitors from across the State headed to Perth for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu State Championship on Sunday.

Among the competitors was a large contingent from Geraldton, including 12 adults and kids from the Reyson Gracie Jiu Jitsu club, led by black-belt professor Israel Ribeiro.

The Geraldton club came away with a haul of medals taking home three gold, two silver and four bronze.

Tahj Smith won the gold and the title of State champion at the teen II (14 years) level after winning her two fights, the first via a chokehold and the second with a kimura (a type of arm lock).

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Sianna Johnson also won in her division with gold and a State championship in the teen I (13 years) division. Sianna came back from six points down at one stage to defeat her opponent with an impressive and tactical arm lock.

CJ Cleary was the big winner in the masters division, taking gold and the State champ title in the 41+ age bracket, winning with an ‘Americana’ (a difficult-to-pull-off shoulder lock).

The Bandy family also won several medals, with a bronze for dad Carter and two silvers and a bronze for his kids.

Dan Kacunic took bronze in the 36+ masters bracket and Brendon Forrester also won bronze in the masters 30+ bracket.

Coach and team leader Israel Ribeiro was full of praise for his team. “I feel so happy with the results, it means the methodology of our school has been working,” he said.

“I also feel inspired by the courage of the athletes in stepping out of their comfort zone winning or learning, everyone displayed the beautiful aspects of the gentle art, with outstanding sportsmanship during the event.”

The WA State Gi Championship runs annually from the Herb Graham Rec Centre in Mirrabooka.

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