Chatham-Kent and Gracie Barra Chatham jiu jitsu stand out Justin Steele added four medals to his collection of grappling hardware this past weekend at the infamous Arnold Classic Grappling and Jiu Jitsu Championships in Columbus, Ohio.
Steele competed in four different divisions over the two-day event and took home hardware in every one, grabbing three gold medals and one bronze medal in an incredible showing this year. The Gold medals came in the Advanced Teen, Teen Blue Belt, Adult Blue Belt division.
In possibly the most impressive result in the competition, the youngster also won the Bronze in the open Adult division, where he locked horns against competitors much older, and bigger than he is. The Arnold Classic is one of the fastest growing grappling competitions in the world, and was made even bigger this year by their partnership with the ADCC.
In an effort to increase the level of competition, the Arnold Grappling Championships ran an official ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) expert portion of the show. The Expert or Advance No-Gi divisions of the men’s and women’s adult divisions will compete ADCC style.
The winners of this advanced adult competition received free entry into the ADCC World Championships that will be held later in the year. This competition will qualified seven athletes who will travel to Dubai to compete for a $1 million prize purse. The ADCC World Championships is the biggest and most prestigious no-gi grappling tournament in the world.
The tough schedule doesn’t stop there for Gracie Barra Chatham or Steele as he is off to California on the weekend of March 23rd to participate in the Pan Am Games jiu jitsu competition.
Upcoming for Gracie Barra Chatham:
The same weekend Steele is in California, a few other GBC competitors will be competing in the OJA’s Niagara Open taking place at Brock University in St. Catherines.
The 2nd annual Niagara BJJ Open and events like it are growing, and crucial to raising awareness in extended communities about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the benefits it can offer to young and old.
April 20 TXC- GBC’s Josh Rich will be defending his 135lb title and it will be his last Amateur MMA fight as he is looking to turn professional for his next bout. Nick Whittal and Aaron Lafleur will be fighting at the event as well.
Both Rich and Jo Petahtagoose are looking to turn pro in May with Rich debuting in Western Canada and Petahtagoose is looking to fight for TXC in Michigan and is awaiting some confirmations.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a former Chatham-Kent resident, Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report UFC/NHL, Guest writer at Sportsnet.ca UFC and MMA Editor / Contributor for CKSN.ca