CCCU Sport Scholar, Ryan Mairs won gold at the 2016 English Open No-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships, held at Dartford Judo Club on Sunday. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art/sport that consists of controlling and manipulating the human body in grappling exchanges and transitions. The aim is to get your opponent to submit by using body locks and choke holds. This can be performed in a gi or without a gi. (‘Gi’ is the traditional uniform, ‘no gi’ is when opponents wear shorts and a rash guard instead.)
Ryan got into the sport as part of his MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) training. He had been focusing on this as a way of overcoming some mental health barriers he had been dealing with.
The English Open is a large competition in the UK where the more experienced competitors battle it out for the title of English Champion. This Sunday was performed in No Gi and Ryan had trained hard – drilling and rolling with Blue, Purple and Brown Belts. He participated in four fights on the day. He won all of them by submission, rather than on points. This made the achievement even more special for Ryan.
Ryan’s Christ Church Sport Scholarship Scheme has helped him by providing workshops, including Strength and Conditioning and Psychology. This support has meant he has never felt better in mind and body.