Kaiser Gym Hosts Finals In Jiu-Jitsu
“The Final Conflict” in the annual Hawaii Triple Crown of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu comes to Kaiser High School gym Nov. 27 where competitors of all ages and skill levels will vie for Aloha State Champion titles, prize money and free entry for next year’s series.
The tourney concludes the 2010 series put on by Sensei Romolo Barros of the Brazilian Freestyle Jiu-Jitsu schools. The championships are an effort to strengthen traditional jiu-jitsu roots on the island, particularly in light of the increasing blood-sport popularity of mixed martial arts.
“Some people are not so keen about MMA because they think it’s too brutal, too aggressive,” said Barros. “People today still put Brazilian jiu-jitsu with MMA because MMA came from Brazilian jiu-jitsu. But our event is based on leverage and technique; there’s no striking.”
Fee is $70 for adults and $50 for youths. A late fee of $10 is added from Nov. 21-24, or $20 more at the door. Also planned are two black belt super fights, with big-name competitors yet to be released. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children. For more information, visit hawaiitriplecrown.com.
“We have mothers and fathers, professional athletes and amateurs,” added Barros. It’s a family event.”
Mainland and neighbor islands martial artists also participate, but it’s the local crowd that gets Barros excited, and family and community are key themes. His own teenage son has competed and helps keep score.
“If there’s a chance of getting hurt, we stop the match right there,” he added, noting that what you learn in jiu-jitsu goes far beyond winning a medal. Competing is “just icing on the cake.”
Watching jiu-jitsu is contagious, too: “When people come to watch, they want to learn the art — and it can make you a better person … It gives you pride, and when you feel good about yourself, the first thing you do is smile and treat people with respect.”
Carlos Kiko, last year’s black belt super fight champion, takes down his opponent at a Hawaii Triple Crown of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu match earlier this year. The Aloha State Championship will be held on Nov. 27 in the Kaiser High School gym. Photo courtesy of Michael Villoria/808pics.com.