AUNDECK OMNI KANING—Mike Abotossaway of Aundeck Omni Kaning is the proud new owner of a gold medal (and a bronze one too!) from the Ontario Open Jiu Jitsu Tournament held recently in southern Ontario.

Mr. Abotossaway was representing Manitoulin through the Troop Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Manitoulin, an affiliate group of Troop BJJ in Sudbury.

He explained that he began practicing mixed martial arts (MMA) in November 2013 when Darren Madahbee first introduced his community to the sport through programing for people of all ages. Jean Marc Lalonde and Kyle Gauthier would make the trip from Sudbury to spend two hours each week with the group, teaching everything from kickboxing to BJJ.

“I always followed UFC (Ultimate Fighting) and had an interest in MMA,” Mr. Abotossaway explained of his interest in joining the troop.

Currently, the group hosts classes every Sunday from 12 noon to 1 pm for children and 1 pm to 3 pm for adults.

This isn’t Mr. Abotossaway’s first trip to the open as he took part last year too, but this year was the white belt’s best showing—not too shabby for someone who began the sport only two years ago. He’s also participating in the Budo Open in Sudbury, coming up this July, and plans to attend the Northern Jiu Jitsu and Grappling Championships in Sault Ste. Marie later this month.

At the provincial tournament, Mr. Abotossaway faced nine competitors in the Gi, taking bronze, and seven in the No-Gi, winning the gold, masters’ division. The overall tournament sees 1,400 people of all ages hoping to earn a place on the podium.

“The competition was tough,” he said. “The dude was tall in the gold medal match. It’s hard to contend with how tall he was.” Mr. Abotossaway said he was able to knock his opponent down, scoring some major points in the process and securing the gold medal.

The 34-year-old said he is so happy with the opportunities Troop BJJ Manitoulin has afforded him and thanked Darren Madahbee for giving the gift of MMA to the community. The small group is hoping to bolster its numbers and Mr. Abotossaway encouraged anyone from across Manitoulin with an interest in MMA to check out a Sunday afternoon session. For more information, or to leave a message, go to BJJ/Manitoulin and someone will get back to you.