Ross MA teams have strong showings in BJJ tourneys

Tony Nicholson (right) placed in the purple belt division in Jackson, Miss. April 11.

Tony Nicholson (right) placed in the purple belt division in Jackson, Miss. April 11.

The Ross Martial Arts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition team recently punctuated its spring tournament season with strong showings on consecutive weekends.

The Ross MA group took seven competitors to a tournament in Jackson, Miss. April 11, bringing home 10 medals on the day.

A trio of child competitors earned five medals on the day, highlighted by Joanna Duke’s gold medal in the Gi division. She also earned silver in No-Gi competition. Dyllon Williams took silver in Gi while Charlie Duke had bronze in No-Gi.

In the teen division, Josh Moody took gold in Gi and silver in No-Gi while Hunter Compton won gold in Gi and silver in No-Gi in his weight class. Dalton Sewell won gold in No-Gi and silver in Gi.

Tony Nicholson worked the purple belt superheavyweight division, taking silver in No-Gi. Mike Willis earned bronze in no-gi despite competing up two weight classes.

The following weekend, Ross competitors traveled to the Atlanta Championships, a North American Grappling Association tournament.

Jay Russell worked up a weight class and earned silver in Gi and worked up two weight classes where he won bronze in No-Gi.

Rond Russell took gold in No-Gi and silver in Gi despite a long layoff from tournament competition.

Nicholson earned gold in No-Gi and silver in Gi. Compton took silver in Gi and silver in No-Gi.

Brett Schroeder took gold in No-Gi and silver in Gi. Tristen Fitz-Gerald did not place while competing in heavily populated divisions.

“The last two tournaments, especially the Atlanta tournament, we were able to gauge where we’re at and decide on some short-term and long-term goals,” Ross MA BJJ head trainer Jay Russell said. “A lot of the guys realize they need to adjust their weight class. Tony has a long-term goal of competing in worlds next year, so he’s got to get his weight down to around 290. He has been working a lot of personal training and coming in and doing extra stuff on that. I realized that at NAGA, I’m always going to have to compete up one or two or three weight classes and hardly ever in my age group. A lot of people at the tournament suggested that we shoot for the Atlanta Open in August, which is an IBJJF tournament. And the IBJJF absolutely will not put you in anything but your own weight class and age group. The long-term goal for a lot of us is the Atlanta Open in August, which gives us about three months to prepare for that, which also means that we’re adding in some classes. In the summer, we’ll be doing some daytime jiu-jitsu classes. Starting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ll be adding an advanced class for green, blue and purple belts. We are trying to fix it where we can roll five days a week to get better ready.”

Additionally, the team is aiming to improve its mental approach to tournament competition in the coming months.

“A lot of the guys said they need to work on mental preparedness, getting ready for the fights beforehand, visualizing what they need to do, getting a better strategic gameplan. I think the last two tournaments helped tremendously for guys figuring out what their strategy is,” Russell added.