Jiu Jitsu team hauls in medals | ParkRecord.com

Jiu Jitsu team hauls in medals

Submitted by Park City Jiu Jitsu,

Ethan Alejo (middle) of Park City Jiu Jitsu holds up the two gold medals he earned by submission at the Impact BJJ tournament in Holladay, Utah.

Every Park City Jiu Jitsu competitor earned a medal two weeks ago at the Impact BJJ Kid’s Tournament. Four gold, three silver and three bronze medals were brought back to Park City. The nine-person competition team was comprised of Mergen Tugei, Campbell Knotts, Aidan Knotts, Connor Carpenter, Taylor Doleac, Ethan Alejo, Chloe Demers, Lillie Buchanan and Timmy.

"The team competed with great sportsmanship and humility," said Park City Jiu Jitsu Professor Mike Diaz. "This is what Park City Jiu Jitsu stands for."

Diaz is a third-degree black belt who personally instructs all the children’s programs.

The most spectacular Park City performance was turned in by Ethan Alejo, who won two gold medals. Alejo, a seven-year-old yellow belt, had the unique opportunity to compete in two brackets and won them both with flair. In his first bracket, he had a bye and then immediately fought for the championship. After falling behind on points early, Alejo used a breathtaking balloon sweep from guard to go to mount of his opponent. The balloon sweep is a very advanced move for a seven-year-old and is a specialty of Alejo.

To perform the balloon sweep, Ethan is on his back and his opponent is between his legs, referred to as being in Alejo’s guard. Ethan then places both his feet on his opponent’s hips, lifts them up off their feet, pushes them up and over his head, and they land on their back on the ground above his head. Then Ethan mounts his opponent and attacks. In this fight Alejo, went directly to an extremely tight armbar and his opponent tapped at the same time the referee was stopping the fight. The crowd was in disbelief from the beautiful balloon sweep and then erupted when they realized the fight was dramatically over.

After Alejo won his original bracket with only one fight he was given the opportunity to enter another bracket since he was guaranteed at least two fights in the tournament. He accepted the challenge and fought his way into the championship match. Once again, after being down on points early, Alejo got his opponent in his guard. Everyone on the Park City team knew what was coming next. Ethan performed another amazing balloon sweep. In one motion, he went from his back to the top of his opponent to a devastating armbar and another gold medal. The crowd went wild. Alejo’s balloon sweeps were a popular topic among the crowd and coaches during the remainder of the tournament.

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Mergen Tugei, a 15-year-old 140-pound yellow belt, represented Pack City in the heaviest weight class. In his first tournament outside of Park City, he worked hard to earn the gold. His first opponent was over 200 pounds, yet very fluid. Mergen used the guiding principle behind Jiu Jitsu, which is that a smaller person can defeat a larger, stronger person by using the right leverage and technique paired with focus and discipline. The fight neared the final three-minute mark when Tugei ended it by submission with an armbar. In the championship match, Mergen once again used an armbar to secure the gold.

Connor Carpenter, an 11-year-old yellow belt, had three challenging fights to earn gold. Every match went the full three minutes, with Carpenter winning each by points.

The Impact BJJ Kid’s Tournament was pressure-packed from the start because it was a Gi-only tournament. Gi and No Gi are the two forms of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Gi Jiu Jitsu is grappling with the use of a traditional Gi, which allows you to grab the clothing of your opponent. No Gi is grappling without the traditional uniform, instead you wear shorts and a rash guard. Most tournaments have both Gi and No Gi matches, so if a competitor has difficult time in one form they still have the other to excel. Being a Gi-only tournament makes the result of every Park City competitor medaling even more impressive.

Other Park City medals included:

  • Lillie Buchanan — silver
  • Chloe Demers — silver
  • Timmy — silver
  • Campbell Knotts — bronze
  • Aidan Knotts — bronze
  • Taylor Doleac — silver

    Park City Jiu-Jitsu teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is a martial art and sport that trains a smaller person how to defend themselves against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique. Park City Jiu Jitsu’s children’s program teaches core values that are used throughout life and skills to protect personal safety. Children learn how to not be bullied, and not be a bully. Words are given and reasoning is taught to handle situations, in addition to self-defensive techniques that involve no striking. Once Professor Mike feels a child is prepared if they desire they can participate in sport competitions such as the Northwest Submission Challenge.

    Park City Jiu Jitsu is located at 1792 Bonanza Dr. It also offers self-defense classes, Ginastica Natural (a functional movement workout) classes and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes for adults and kids who want learn the art. Email parkcityjiujitsu@gmail.com, call 801-638-5950 or visit http://www.parkcitybjj.com for more information.