Tiger grapples Manila medals
PHUKET: The long hours of training and preparation – along with the misery of cutting weight for competition – paid off for the Tiger Muay Thai and MMA (TMT) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) team last weekend.
Monday 21 May 2012, 10:00AM
Of the six grapplers that headed to Manila, the Philippines, for the Pan Asian BJJ Gi and No Gi International Open, each of them returned home to Phuket with at least one medal.
By the end of the tournament they had racked up a total of nine between them.
The tournament was the biggest tournament in Southeast Asia, and is recognised by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.
“It was a great opportunity to show everyone that we have a legitimate BJJ programme, and that we have a lot of awesome grapplers here in camp,” said TMT Gear Shop manager and bronze and silver medal winner, Kitty Teppo.
Both Teppo and fellow teammate Alex Schild are no strangers to competition; they’ve been heavily involved in the sport for several years now.
But BJJ is still relatively new to Southeast Asia, a region better known for its many indigenous forms of martial arts – especially Muay Thai.
Schild, for one, wasn’t really sure what to expect in Manila, but was pleasantly surprised by the high level of competition and the tremendous atmosphere he found.
“I was really impressed with the skills of the other competitors, and with how friendly everyone was, too. There weren’t any egos, and everyone was just enjoying the sport as one big collection of people… It was an awesome tournament.”
Schild came away with an impressive silver medal finish at his weight in the blue-belt division.
Oscar Mendoza, a white-belt and the least experienced of the group, put on one very impressive performance, winning gold and silver medals in the Master’s (ages 35 and up) Gi and No Gi divisions, in his first ever Jiu Jitsu tournament.
“This success should definitely help us grow,” Schild said of Tiger’s BJJ programme. “Now we’re able to get out and promote the team at tournaments like this one, and we’re coming home with medals.”