Ramona Jiu Jitsu celebrates anniversary

Ramona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recently celebrated its one year anniversary. Nearly 100 people gathered in the studio on Main Street for a night of celebration and reflection. A year ago many of the current students were excited that a jiu jitsu academy would be opening. One adult student, a former Marine, even stated that he was Kevin Hosseini, Ramona Jiu Jitsu owner and coach, seated center in black, is surrounded by team members. Photo/Shawn Setterberg “giddy” that one was finally opening in town. Jiu Jitsu is a fairly unknown martial art/sport to the average person. But to the students who have been training since the opening, the sport and the benefits were well known and sought after. Jiu Jitsu is often confused with other martial arts that focus on the stand-up aspect of fighting. Jiu Jitsu focuses mainly on fighting on the ground and maintaining a dominant position until eventually submitting the opponent. Many of the students at the anniversary celebration were anxious to share their experiences and the benefits they gained from training at RBJJ. Several students said they have lost 20 to 30 pounds in a few months of training. “If it weren’t for Brazilian jiu jitsu, I would still be overweight and unhealthy,” said Matt Roelle. Kate LaJaunie of Shelter Valley started training for her 63rd birthday. “I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ Well it turns out 20 pounds, and the days I train I don’t have to take insulin for my diabetes.” In addition to losing weight, many of the adults said they have never felt stronger and healthier, and the mental benefits are countless. “Jiu Jitsu cultivates thoughts that anticipate achievement, believing in yourself, and being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weakness,” said Mark Dumas, a career naval officer. A police officer who trains said that “Jiu Jitsu is an important component of overall mental and physical health.” But, one of the most important benefits many said they have found at Ramona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the emotional connections. They say everyone in the gym has made friends and has gained an extended family. The younger students spend time together playing in and out of class, as well as attending each other’s birthday parties. The gym has celebrated team barbecues and nights out and has traveled together to out-of-state tournaments. Owner/Coach Kevin Hosseini has been overheard saying on several occasions that he doesn’t see the academy as a business or job, but as a family. On anniversary night, Hosseini acknowledged all of the competition team members who competed and placed throughout the year. In one year, the school has brought home 56 medals, a second overall in the kids’ division, a team second overall, and an overall team grand championship. In addition to these accomplishments, Sen. Joel Anderson recently acknowledged the students from RBJJ. Toward the end of the evening, Hosseini made several belt/ranking promotions. The evening ended with gifts to Hosseini and cake for everyone.