Wow it’s hard to believe we are almost at the end of 2023 already, it’s crazy how quick it has gone. This year has been a roller coaster in more ways than one.
Competition wise 2023 was by far our most successful year, and that is despite losing the majority of our comp team for a variety of reasons including injury, old age, interest etc. We finished the year with a medal tally of 50 Golds, 33 Silver & 26 Bronze from 13 competitions. We also won Best Kids/Teens team at 2 comps including the AFBJJ South Australian Titles, and 2nd Place overall at Synergy Pro Comp also. The comps we attended were all the major comps like State Titles and National titles.
We had 2 athletes finished ranked Number 1 for their respective divisions in Australia, THE BEST IN AUSTRALIA! Giselle in No Gi Juvenile Girl Blue Belt division, and Kris Tonner in Gi & No Gi Master athlete White belt. What an amazing achievement by both.
Kris deserves a special mention because he won every State Titles Australia wide, plus the National Title. It cost him a small fortune to achieve that but we honestly couldn't be more proud to have someone so humble and deserving represent our gym.
Our coaching personnel has changed a bit this year, not all by choice but my Professor Tiago has always told me that everything happens for a reason and life will work out for the better. Honestly it has, we now have Coach Damien running our MMA programs and he is doing an amazing job, helped out on occasion by coach Stephen. Coach Bodey took over our kids program and has really pushed the kids to a new level and its really exciting to watch there progress. Bodey also runs our early morning adults Jiu Jitsu program which is getting a really good consistent group attending . I took over the toddlers and introduced a few new things for them which seem to be going well, I also still run the teens & Adults programs which are both going awesome. And then we have Joe running our Fundamentals class on a Saturday morning and our Sunday Church Open mat which are both going well. Jenelle also has a consistent group of people attending her bootcamps nightly, they train hard and support each other endlessly.
We also have an amazing group of assistant coaches who help us out, Tyler, Harmony, Giselle, Taneisha & Daniel who help Coach Bodey with the kids program. Ellie who helps me with the Toddlers, Tyler and Ellie have both ran classes this year so that has been fantastic to see.
As a club we won multiple State Titles, National Titles etc but none of it would be possible without those people mentioned above, thank you.
Our First Nations Scholarship program also had an amazing year, we added to the group with 9 scholarship athletes now. A few were regular competitors this year and finished with 21 Gold, 21 Silver & 8 Gold medals. More importantly is their personal growth and improvement , it’s been amazing to watch.
This program for some reason has caused me issues since we started it, we have lost members over it (no Loss), I had one ex parent tell me this year it was “unsafe to be a white kid at this gym” hahaha. I have had so called friends unfriend me on social media lol, crazy stuff but I don’t care. These people aren’t my true friends or members I want at our gym if that is their outlook on life.
One of the highlights of the year was our Grading last month when Professor Tiago came. Awarding Stephen his Black Belt was something I won’t forget, Stephen is the ultimate club person who has also been one of my best mates now for many years. His grading was not only deserving but also well overdue. Also Joe Grading to Brown, Joe has been an integral part of our gym for many years now and him getting his Brown was so good to see. He has been training longer than anyone in our gym, he’s now a coach also, and his humour and kindness are second to none.
Also myself getting my Brown Belt was something I never thought I’d get to honestly. I train pretty much five nights a week as well as teaching multiple classes nightly and I honestly do it because I love it, I love the art because you can get humbled so quickly but someone half your size haha. The majority of the Jiu Jitsu Community World wide that I’ve met are fantastic people, and to train with my kids nightly is an experience I’ll never take for granted .
We have some pretty big plans for 2024, so please stay involved and keep training hard. Invite friends and family to try it out as the more members the better for everyone involved.
Our gym is forever evolving , we keep learning everyday and try our best to make our little gym an inclusive safe space for everyone to train and become the best versions of themselves . We don’t always get it right but we always try to, I want to thank everyone past and present who have been involved with our club because without them our gym wouldn't be what it is today.
Anyone that has a business that would like to sponsor one of our programs please hit me up as we need as much support as we can.
Let's go 2024 legends.