Best in The West

Castlegar-based martial arts club excels in Okanagan

Top left to right: Head coach Ben Jolicoeur

Castlegar’s own Kootenay Jiu Jitsu Academy brought home a golden haul from the 2014 Western Canadian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in Pentiction earlier this summer including winning first place overall in the Adult No-Gi division.

Led by coaches Ben Jolicoeur, Ken Postnikoff, and Brent McDonald, the academy took on approximately 20 clubs representing the Lower Mainland, Okanagan, Kootenays, and Western Alberta. In addition to its first place finish in Adult No-Gi, the academy also racked up a trio of third place trophies in the Adult Gi, Kid’s Gi, and Kid’s No-Gi divisions.

The tournament marked the end of the academy’s 2013-2014 competition season, which was the best in its10-year history: more than 100 individual medals won by students, multiple Provincial and Western Canadian Champions crowned (in both B.C. and Alberta tournaments), and a slew of first, second, and third place team trophies claimed in competition against many larger clubs.

In addition to stellar competition results, it was also a landmark season for academy founder and head coach Ben Jolicoeur, who received his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and joined the elite ranks of only a handful of BJJ Black Belts in B.C. Jolicoeur took his first Jiu Jitsu class in 1996 in Victoria and after settling in the Kootenays years later, opened Kootenay Jiu Jitsu Academy in Castlegar in 2004.

Anyone interested in trying a free class at Kootenay Jiu Jitsu Academy may contact head coach Ben Jolicoeur at 365-5100 or message the academy at  Highlight videos of the academy in action can been seen on its YouTube page at [*Note: these links do indeed have “Kootenai” spelled with an “i” rather than a “y” as per the academy’s original spelling].



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