The first tournament was organised by the Phuket Jiu Jitsu Club and took place last Saturday (Aug 20) at Saphan Hin Stadium in Phuket Town.
The second tournament was the Rookie Championships, organsied by the Jiu Jitsu Sports Association of Thailand. This was a two-day competition contested on Saturday and Sunday (Aug 20-21) and was also staged at Saphan Hin Stadium.
Although both tournaments were open to both boys and girls, Dojo at Blue Tree Phuket only had a team of eight boys competing across the weekend. Both tournaments were geared towards younger competitors considered beginners in the sport who have previously not competed in more than a total of four championships.
The boys from Dojo at Blue Tree Phuket performed expertly across both competitions to claim a total of 14 medals during Saturday’s competition and 17 on Sunday, including 16 gold medals, 9 silver medals and 6 bronze medals.
“Every single student fought so well and I am incredibly proud of all the boys,” commented Dojo at Blue Tree Phuket founder Alexis Plantard.
“An extra big thank you to all the family and friends who came to support the Blue Tree team and made for an amazing crowd which helped lift the boys,” he added.
Alexis and his students now turn their attention to training for the National Jiu Jitsu Championships at Rangsit University in Bangkok on Sept 17-18.
“We will be training hard for this competition and sending a total of 15 students to compete,” said Alexis. “It will be a tough test but as a team we are confident.”
‘Honour and respect’
Located in the Lifestyle Village at Blue Tree Phuket in Cherng Thalay, Alexis founded the Dojo at the start of 2020. By November of that year, his students were competing with over 2,000 athletes from all over Thailand at the National Jiu Jitsu championships in Bangkok where they won an incredible 18-medal haul.
That impressive success rate has continued under Alexis’ shrewd stewardship. He is a fourth dan black belt in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu with 28 years’ experience practising martial arts who has won numerous accolades over the years, including most recently a gold medal in the 90kg class at the US Open Judo Championships in Florida last month.
“The objective of the dojo is to develop martial arts values and to create a dynamic fighter community in the north of Phuket,” Alexis told The Phuket News.
“The moral code of martial arts is to teach kids how to become a good person. It’s not about actually getting a black belt but more so about how to conduct oneself with honour and respect under the code of a black belt.”
Kenneth Thongsong is one such student who is profiting from Alexis’s guidance. Kenneth is competing at the Sarajevo World Championship Cadets 2022 tournament in the Under-16 age group in Judo this week.
The tournament, which started on Wednesday (Aug 24) and runs until Sunday (Aug 28), sees close to 500 athletes from 61 countries taking place.
Kenneth has been studying at Dojo Blue Tree Phuket under the tutorship of Alexis for the past three years and is the first athlete from the studio to gain national recognition and represent his country.
Last month Kenneth competed at at the Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championship 2022 in Bangkok, finishing in a hugely credible 9th place in his first international competition.
He and Alexis now turn their attention to the even bigger tournament in Sarajevo and both student and teacher are confident.
“We have a three-day training camp once we arrive,” Alexis told The Phuket News prior to their departure from Phuket. “Once that is done we start competition and will be fighting to make history and to make Thailand and the family at Dojo at Blue Tree Phuket proud.”