Troop Manitoulin places at Sudbury Budo Open

Robert McGraw, right, of Troop Manitoulin with Professor Richard Nancoo, who helped teach him the art of jiu jitsu.

AUNDECK OMNI KANING— The sport of jiu jitsu has been happening in Aundeck Omni Kaning for well over a year, since Darren Madahbee first brought it to the community, and the hard work is paying off as another student of the program recently finished with a silver medal at the Sudbury Budo Open.

Robert McGraw competed in the Masters male ultra heavyweight division, finishing with a silver in the gi and a gold in no-gi. The Troop team, led by Professors Richard Nancoo and Amber Nancoo, the only blackbelts in Northern Ontario, were able to finish third overall in the gi and second overall in no-gi.

Even though the sport has been on Manitoulin for some time, there are still some misconceptions about what jiu jitsu is and what its all about.

“I recently heard a member in the community refer to jiu jitsu as ‘fighting’,” said Mr. McGraw’s wife Mary Anne. “In understanding why this could be misinterpreted; jiu jitsu is a form of martial arts, but it is also much more than that.”

According to one online source, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting.

At Troop MMA the focus is on jiu jitsu as a form of self defense. “When students come to our classes, we try to teach children what to do if they are being bullied or to get away from a bad situation,” Mr. McGraw explained. “The first line of defense is their voice. The focus is on building confidence, strength and keeping calm. Students are taken through a warm up and then instructed on a variety of sweeps, holds, and escapes.”

Jiu jitsu is a very physical and close contact sport. “We train our members to be excellent training partners,” Mr. McGraw continued. “The health benefits are amazing and it is a great way to get and keep your body in shape.”

The troop is currently looking for children, youth and adults from all over the Island to expand Troop Manitoulin, which trains at the Community Centre in Aundeck Omni Kaning and everyone is welcome.

To learn more about them, check us out at Troop Manitoulin on Facebook. Or come take in a class on a Tuesday or Thursday at 6 pm for children and 7 pm for everyone else.