Chatham-Kent Jiu Jitsu Players Roll Successfully at NAGA Toronto Championships

Gracie Barra Chatham at NAGA

Gracie Barra Chatham at NAGA

The North American Grappling Association held a competition as part of the Mixed Martial Arts Expo in Mississauga this past weekend and Chatham Kent grapplers were prominent in the festivities. Seventeen different grapplers from three different schools participated in the event, which took place at the Pearson International Center in the same hall as the Mixed Martial Arts Expo.

As mixed martial arts fans from all over walked the floor exhibits and got to see some of their favorite UFC stars like Carlos Condit, Clay Guida, Sam Stout and Britney Palmer to name a few, Chatham-Kent grapplers were busy on the mat sweating, competing, and representing with pride.

Thomas Armstrong’s Gracie Barra Chatham team had five members competing in various different divisions and were led by seasoned ace Justin Steele. Steele continued a brilliant 2011 of competition by grabbing the title belt in the Teen Heavyweight Expert BJJ division, silver in Super Heavywweight Expert BJJ and a bronze in the Teen Expert Submission. Rob Alderton won silver in Adult Intermediate BJJ. Newcomers Chris Halladay, Mike Halladay and Danny Bourgoin competed well in thier first real matches and perfromed extremely well.

Coach Chris Kimmerly and Redemption MMA had six athletes at NAGA and Tyler Kirk came away with a gold medal in the 129lb Under Novice. Matt Barnes took Silver in the 150lb Novice and Steve Eldridge took a Silver in the 179lb Intermediate. Todd Sheppard, Nick Whittal and Tyler Depelsmaeker all fought hard and performed well.

John Jones and Hard Knox Tilbury had six in no-gi action including grappling coach Rob Raffoul, and aside from taking his own Bronze in his division, he should be very proud of the preparation of his troops. Andre Cronier was a star taking gold medals in two different weight classes on the weekend. Joe Toulouse, Steve Rivard and Austin Hutton all took home silver medals, and Pete Knelsen took home a bronze. The boys at hard Knox would like to extend a specific thank you to gym owner John Robert for always going above and beyond and for his mental inspiration.

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