Brazilian jiu-jitsu-practitioner Paul Dobson from Flesherton, trains with Adam Smart of Owen Sound. Photo: Abrie Kilian.
BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — Sunday, July 7, saw history made with three of the leading Brazilian Ju-jitsu (BJJ) clubs in the Grey Bruce region joining together for training.
By Wikipedia definition, "Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling with particular emphasis on ground fighting. It is founded on the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent by using technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground."
Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners pose for the camera during the first Grey-Bruce Open Mat training session.
Andrew Bowler of Bowler’s BJJ in Flesherton hosted Topp Performance of Port Elgin and Kilian Academy of Owen Sound for the first-ever Tri-Club Open Mat training session. 25 BJJ-practitioners representing all three clubs, trained together for the first time at Bowler’s BJJ facility in the Flesherton Common on Highway 10.
"Unlike Karate or Tae Kwon Do which involves kicking and punching, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is called the gentle art because it is less violent and injurious than other martial arts," said Andrew Bowler of Bowler's BJJ. "It's real world self defense and I love it."
Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner grappling with Adam Smart of Owen Sound. Photo: Abrie Kilian.
Spearheaded by Kilian Academy and supported by both Bowler’s BJJ and Topp Performance, Tri-Club Open Mat training sessions seek to promote BJJ in the Grey-Bruce region as an addition to healthy living through combat sports. All three clubs will rotate on a month-to-month basis, hosting a Tri-Club Open Mat training session on the first Sunday of each month.
Abrie Kilian, owner and head coach of Kilian Academy stated that: “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not without controversy, with rivalries easily developing between competing clubs. The idea of the Tri-Club Open Mat training session is to build cohesion and good faith among the leading BJJ-clubs in the Grey-Bruce region. Also, it grants participants exposure to different BJJ-styles and assists all BJJ-competitors in the region with tournament preparation.
Sylvan Harrison of Port Elgin, training Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Adam Smart of Owen Sound. Photo: Abrie Kilian.
Kilian, who has been practicing martial arts for over 24 years, added that it takes a select group of people, with similar philosophies and approaches, to see such an initiative succeed. “Working together with other clubs in hosting a training session is not for every coach," said Killian. "Both Jessie Topp (Topp Performance) and Andrew Bowler (Bowler’s BJJ) are coaches that see beyond their interest and truly are visionaries. The Tri-Club Open Mat training session is a team effort, and if you are not part of it, you are missing out.”
Topp Performance in Port Elgin will host the next Tri-Club Open Mat training session on August 4 at noon. All martial arts enthusiasts are welcome to attend and spectate at these events.
Watch the above video of Andrew Bowler of Bowler's BJJ as he was awarded a BJJ black belt under Jeff Joslin at Joslin's MMA on December 16, 2017. As is tradition, Andrew was required to do a 5 minute demo as part of the belt ceremony.
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