Members of the Ramona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (RBJJ) competition team made a strong showing at their first tournament, with five RBJJ competitors converging on La Jolla High School for the Tuf Love Gi/No-Gi Tournament.

The Ramona competitors brought home six medals, with all placing in their weight class. Romeo De Los Reyes was first from RBJJ to compete for the day. Encouraged on by cheers from the RBJJ family, De Los Reyes took third in the 205-pound Master’s Gi white belt division after two hard fought matches with experienced competitors. The 175-pound Adult Gi white belt was stacked with tough experienced competitors that had been training and competing for some time, and, although the field was stacked, Harryson Franz came out on top with a first place in his division, said Kevin Hosseini, RBJJ coach. During his first match, Franz controlled his more experienced opponent and quickly took down the opposition to maintain a dominate position through the match. Eventually he secured a triangle choke and transitioned to an armbar, finishing his opponent. During his second match, Franz met another worthy opponent and again controlled the match. He was able to finish quickly with a rear-naked choke.

Next to compete was Brandon Setterberg, who entered the Kid’s Gi white belt 12-year-old 100-pound division. Like his teammate, Setterberg dominated the opposition in his division, winning both of his matches in his division and taking a first place spot. Hosseini agreed with the officials that Setterberg could move up a division and compete with heavier opponents. Setterberg moved on to the upper division and was able to place third with opponents at least 15 pounds heavier.

Hannah LaJaunie, who competed in the Teen’s Gi white belt 15-16-year-old 140-pound division, was next. She faced fierce competition in her division. Earlier in the day her opponent had dominated the no gi division.

LaJaunie was unfazed by the competition and fought with a ferocity unseen in any other matches throughout the day, said her coach. Her two matches were the longest of the day as she took both into double overtime. As a result of her hard work, she won a second place in her division.

The final RBJJ competitor for the day was Matt Roelle. Like his teammates before him, he faced a strong division. During the first match, Roelle came out strong, reversing his opponent several times, including with a highlight sweep that impressed coaches and spectators. Down by 2 points and with only seconds left, he reversed his opponent and took a dominate position, winning the match. Roelle continued on with two more matches and took second in his division.

Hosseini said he was very happy with the team’s performance, stating that the hard training and practice put in by the team allowed them do so well. It is typical of teams to send 20 or so competitors and only take home three to four medals, he noted.

The competition team is composed of a select few from the Ramona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy who choose to compete.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that focuses mainly on fighting on the ground and maintaining a dominant position until eventually submitting the opponent. Through proper training and application, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu allows a smaller, weaker person to defend and even dominate significantly bigger and stronger opponents.

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