Stranglehold on South

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Birney Lindsay, front PICTURE: SHAYNE GALLOWAY

Queenstown’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu club dominated a new tournament to win ‘best academy in the South Island’.

Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu New Zealand, based in Remarkables Park, took 69 competitors to the first NZ Grappler Southern circuit comp, held in Dunedin earlier this month.

They won 53 medals including 13 golds, 28 silvers and 12 bronzes, in gi (martial arts clothing) and no-gi matches, across various weights and skill levels. The martial art is focused on grappling and submissions, through joint-locks and chokes.

Coach and club founder Jose Gomes says: “To come out as top team in the competition, we’re pretty happy with that.

“We can’t make it to Auckland all the time, so it’s great NZ Grappler has now come to the South Island.”

More than 300 grapplers from across the South Island competed. Queenstown competitors included both adults and youngsters.

“It was amazing to see the kids. They play in class and it seems like a game, but then to see them use the techniques they learn in competition is really great to see.

“Everyone did really well and Renan Secco took the advanced no-gi division, which was the top honour.”

The Queenstown club now has more than 200 members and has won a plethora of national and international titles since it opened more than a decade ago.

Gomes says: “We’ve made an amazing environment in the gym in Queenstown – everyone who comes falls in love with the sport and the club, and they tell their friends and family, who want to come too.

“There’s nothing scary, it’s fun but physical, intense, challenging and a brain exercise as well as body, and it’s social. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Next up is an in-house club comp at Shotover Primary School on June 22, before its King of the South 2, at the Events Centre, in November.