After training all summer, six Renton kids went to Las Vegas to show off their martial arts skills.
Chloe Austin, Madelyn Pursell, Lincoln Jasinski, Truman Jasinski, Max Ruff and Arthur Ruff IV represented Renton Martial Arts Center at the Kids International Championship for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation at the end of August, hosted in Nevada.
Four of the kids placed in their tournaments, which involve a four minute fighting round that awards athletes points for dominating their opponent. Athletes who “tap out” also lose the match immediately. All the Renton kids are gray belts, which according to a press release from the Renton Martial Arts Center, takes two to four years for them to accomplish.
Arthur Ruff IV has been training in jiu jitsu since he was five years old. At age 13, this was the biggest and toughest tournament he’d been to. He and Chloe Austin, 11, have gray belts with black stripes— symbolizing they’ve been at it longer than their teammates.
Truman Jasinski, 11, took silver against the four boys in his international division. This was his first tournament with a gray belt after earning it in May. He won his first match 7-2, but tapped out in the second match to a boy he stated intimidated him.
“Winning my first match, I felt like the best, probably the best feeling I’ve ever felt in forever; it was amazing,” he stated in the release. “When I lost, it didn’t feel good, but I still had the feeling from winning my first match. I never lost that feeling.”
Pursell, 10, and Lincoln Jasinski, 12, didn’t place in Las Vegas, but the press release states it motivated the kids. Lincoln Jasinski stated he’s ready for his Oct. 5 tournament and knows what to improve on. Pursell is used to winning in local tournaments, according to the release.
“I want to come back next year and actually win, I’m going to train even harder,” she stated in the release.
Coaches Arthur Ruff and Courtney Anaya encourage the students to take on the challenge of signing up for tournaments, to test their skills and build character.
“It is important they develop a strong attitude towards failure,” Anaya stated in the release. “In our school they face their failure, learn from it and use it to motivate themselves to work harder, instead of being discouraged and quitting.”
But most of the kids also admit their parents have kept them in jiu jitsu.
“Sometimes I don’t like jiu jitsu, but I think what keeps me in is the tournaments,” Truman Jasinski stated in the release. “And knowing if I work hard enough I could finally reach black belt. I feel like I need to do it. And because, if I don’t want to I’d probably still have to do it anyway. But I still want to do it.”
Max Ruff, 11, stated in the release that Brazilian jiu jitsu gave him confidence, friends and gold medals and that it makes him who he is. He thanks his dad for giving him all that, even after a hard summer training six to 10 times per week.
“I wouldn’t be me without it,” Max Ruff stated in the release.