Students from McMinnville Jiu Jitsu Academy went toe-to-toe with other martial arts competitors Saturday during the North American Grappling Association tournament in Franklin.
After the dust settled at the all-day event, two of the six students from McMinnville captured first-place awards, while the others brought home a “slew of medals,” according to instructor Robin Clark.
Kalan Lusk and Aaron Roach were the two students who won first in their divisions. The trophy for first place was a samurai sword.
“I teach self-defense and I’m not really focused on tournament or sport jiu jitsu,” said Clark, who owns and operates McMinnville Jiu-Jitsu Academy on Spring Street. “Even though the kids never trained that way and fought kids who do nothing but train for tournaments, they did really well. I was proud of the way they performed.”
In addition to the first-place wins, other students performing well were Tylan Lusk, Ianthe Danburgh, Aidan Patterson and Candice Prater.
Clark said in addition to teaching the valuable skill of self-defense, jiu jitsu provides a cardiovascular workout to help with fitness. He said it’s great to start young and continue throughout life.
“Kids are like sponges and they can pick this up so quickly,” said Clark. “Their bodies can adapt to the movements very easily. A kids who trains for five years can be much more advanced than an adult who trains for five years just because it’s so much easier for their bodies to adjust.”
For more information, McMinnville Jiu-Jitsu Academy can be reached at (931) 261-4183.