Eight Days Martial Arts in Whitehorse had a very successful tournament recently.
The club fought their way to 14 medals at the AVA Ultra Submission Grappling Championships.
The Champs were held Oct. 21-22 in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
According to Eight Days head coach Robert Woodman, it is the last tournament and the big wrap up for the year, and big trophies are handed out at the event.
Eight Days had 11 athletes competing at the tourney, ranging in age from about five to 35.
"Everybody performed really well," recalled Woodman. "Even a couple first-timers surprised me and they won their division. Louie (Mouchet) had a crazy performance. His first time going to this tournament, first time competing in general, he came home with two golds."
The 14 medals included eight for the adults and six for the kids.
"I always feel great when everybody's happy and winning," related Woodman. "Some people surprised themselves as to how well they did, but it just shows that the hard work that we're doing up here is making it able for us to compete with the big teams down south, so it's really encouraging as a coach, and it shows that we're on the right path."
Woodman said the athletes had a lot of fun at the tourney.
"Frazetta (Jaymes Laprairie) had a really good division. She made a lot of friends with the other competitors. One boy in particular from one of our affiliation teams, they became quick friends and it was really nice to see them encouraging each other and cheering for each other. So it was really awesome."
Other highlights for Woodman included Mouchet and how well his first tourney went.
"He did a Double A takedown and when he came down, his tooth went through his lip and he was bleeding all over the place. They gave us a couple minutes to clean him up and he went back out there and still won the match. So it was really awesome to see.
"Watching the kids is always fun. Eila, it was her second time. She was fierce. One of the matches, the kid didn't really want to engage with her, so she was hunting and chasing her down.
"Demi and the lady that she competed with had some really good leg lock battles. And it was really one of their first times for both of them competing with leg locks. It was a really great back and forth. I'm a big leg lock guy, so I like to see that sort of stuff."
Woodman said they went to three matches in each division. The matches were a best of three format. Another highlight was Kelli Anderson's first-time performance.
"She was a little nervous, but she treated it like it was another day at the gym," related Woodman. "Just went out, had fun, even though she was competing against ladies half her age. She was in the 18+ division. There was some younger girls but she still fought super hard.
"Kyle Nightingale had a really long day. He had a lot of tough fights. I knew one of the guys that he fought and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight but he fought his heart out. It was awesome to see, so I'm excited for the next one to see how things go."
That particular match for Nightingale went into overtime.
"It was really good back and forth battles," recalled Woodman. "He had some really good sweeps and really good takedowns. The match just didn't go his way that time."
As for what's next, Woodman said, "We're just gonna keep training and then I'm looking at another tournament in March. It won't be the same event. It'll be a different one. The same round robin format, but it's going to be a points tournament, so it's going to be completely different than we're used to."
Woodman added he was surprised at how well everybody did, especially the first-timers.
"I'm always excited the most about the new people going out for the first time, seeing the way they compose themselves and compete. It's really exciting for me to watch.
"I'm always looking to take more and more people for those tournaments. I would like to take an army of people and get a team trophy. That's my next goal for the team, is to come home with a team trophy at some point."
Here are the teams' results:
• Bronze – nogi- 10-12 yrs +50kg
• Bronze – gi yellow belt +50kg
• Silver – gi yellow +50kg
Frazetta Jaymes Laprairie:
• Bronze – nogi- 7yrs grey belt -30kg
• Silver – grey belt -30kg
• Silver – gi white -30kg
• Gold – nogi 16-17 yrs white belt -75kg
• Gold – gi white belt -75kg
• nogi 16-17 yrs white belt -75kg
• Silver – nogi purple belt 30+ -65kg
• Silver – gi purple belt 30+ -65kg
Timothy Milsom Lebreux:
• Bronze – nogi white belt 18+ -88kg
• Silver – gi white belt 18+ -88kg
• Silver – gi white belt 18+ -75kg
• Gold – gi blue belt 18+ -88kg