Stealth BJJ Kids European Championships 2017
Stealth BJJ’s youth martial arts team based in Oldham, took up the challenge of entering in what has become the 2nd biggest kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition in the world. 11 kids from Stealth BJJ decided to test themselves against some of the best competitors around.
Over two days more than 1300 kids from 30+ countries descended on Wolverhampton to take part in the annual BJJ Junior European Championships. For most of the Stealth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu youth team it was their first experience of entering a competition yet they were more than ready for the task ahead. Over the last month additional competition focused sessions have honed their martial arts skills whilst looking at how the rules work in what has become the fastest growing sport in the world.
On day one, two of the team headed onto the mats to fight in the no gi grappling category where they were to compete in shorts and a rash guard instead of the traditional judo style jacket and trousers. The action was incredibly fast paced and the skill level of the kids on the mat very high. In one match against a Dutch opponent Stealth competitor, 13 year old Libby defeated the larger opponent with an arm lock to take the teams’ first gold medal of the weekend.
Early on the morning of the second day the rest of our martial arts team headed from Manchester to join their team mates for a day of gi competition. The atmosphere in the crowded sports centre was electric and the Stealth team spirit was fantastic. Older members of the squad worked with younger children to make sure they were warmed up and at the right place for the start of their matches before competing themselves later in the day. Parents, coaches and the other team members then made sure that every competing child had a group of supporters to cheer on their efforts when it was their turn to fight.
There were some incredible performances from all the kids on the team including from James who in his first ever competition became European champion by beating two other boys. In one of these matches he won with an arm bar that he set up with such calmness that it looked like he was an experienced competitive grappler. Libby took gold again with a series of wins in very fast paced and even acrobatic matches where she finished the fight in just over 10 seconds winning with a bow and arrow submission.
Despite this being the first competition for most of the team they took quite a medal haul back home to Manchester with a total of 3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals added to the trophy cabinet. Parents and coaches were all impressed with the performance on and off the mats by the kids on the team. Their sportsmanship and team spirit are an example for all the other children that attend the nightly classes at Stealth BJJ. Win or lose they all gained experience and are looking forward to the next step in their Jiu Jitsu journeys.