Black-belt visit a thrill for local clubs

A local seminar was held on Feb.12 with second-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Bart Smith from Spokane.

  • Feb. 23, 2011 10:00 a.m.

TOP: From left to right

A local seminar was held on Feb.12 with second-degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Bart Smith from Spokane.

Bart is a black belt under world renowned Rigan Machado of the Machado jiu-jitsu family, an eighth-degree black belt and one of only a handful around the world.

Kootenai Jiu-Jitsu Academy and Pride Gym hosted this seminar which was held to induct both clubs under the Rigan Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu banner.

Benjamin Jolicoeur, the head instructor at Kootenai Jiu-Jitsu Academy,and a second-degree black belt in Japanese jiu-jitsu, was promoted to the rank of brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and now holds the highest rank in the Kootenays as well as Benjamin’s brother in-law Corey Colwell, jiu-jitsu instructor at Pride Gym.

The day saw athletes from both clubs partake in the seminar that covered areas of “passing the guard,” “half guard,” “deep half,” “defending mount,” and some warm up exercises — all positions that encompass Japanese and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Nearly 40 students attended the seminar which ran for three and a half hours and at the end saw some of the students from both gyms receive belt promotions.

The following Kootenai Jiu-Jitsu Academy students were promoted as follows:

• Josh Carr — 4 stripe white

• Corey Whittleton —1 stripe white

• Sean Sutherland — 1 stripe white

• Trevor Yonkman — 3 stripe white

One of the main differences from Japanese jiu-jitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the belt ranking. Students under the age of 16 start with white belt, then receive four incremental stripes on that belt then move onto yellow, four stripes then orange, another four stripes then green. After the age of 16 years they may receive their blue belt, four stripes, then purple, four stripes, then brown, four stripes and finally the coveted black belt!

Although the two styles differ in a lot of ways, in other ways are quite similar. At the heart it is still jiu-jitsu.

Benjamin received his black belt in Japanese jiu-jitsu in June of 2001, then in September of 2009 he received his second-degree black belt under Grandmaster Daniel Verkerke of Cambridge, Ont., where Benjamin and his brother in-law Corey Colwell moved from to the Kootenays in 2002.

In April 2003 Benjamin opened the doors of Kootenai Jiu-Jitsu Academy, now the longest running jiu-jitsu club in the entire Kootenay region. Benjamin also holds the rank of brown belt in judo — an art that stems from jiu-jitsu, — under Sensei Wayne Erdman, a gold medalist at the Pan American Championships and one of the former Olympic judo coaches for Canada.

Benjamin has seen instruction from some of the best in the world, and now with the new affiliation with the Machado family, hopes to spread this knowledge to the local area.

Classes at Kootenai Jiu-Jitsu Academy are held at Kinnaird Park Community Church gymnasium (the old KMS school) on Tuesdays and Thursdays for kids from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and for adults from 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Benjamin is so confident that you will enjoy his classes that he is offering a free, two-week trial.

For more info on classes, contact Benjamin at 250-365-5100.

/Submitted by

Kootenai Jiu-Jitsu Academy

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