Jiu Jitsu Club grapples, comes out on top��

Several members of the Portland State Jiu Jitsu Club joined members of club-sponsor Five Rings Jiu Jitsu at The Revolution tournament at Bonney Lake, Wash., Saturday.

Several members of the Portland State Jiu Jitsu Club joined members of club-sponsor Five Rings Jiu Jitsu at The Revolution tournament at Bonney Lake, Wash., Saturday.

In total, there were seven current PSU students, two PSU alumni, and 14 members of Five Ring Jiu Jitsu who competed. The students from PSU were junior Noah Gordon, senior Louisa Bruschi, sophomore Carly VanWetten, sophomore Ashleigh Mustain, undergraduate Bryan Phippens and senior Nate Mandel.

Out of a team of 23 fighters, Five Rings brought home 18 medals: six gold, eight silver and four bronze.

“The tournament went as planned,” said Eric Dorsett, the club’s assistant coach. “The time people put into tournament training and practice rounds showed on Saturday.”

Gordon, Mustain, Phippens and Mandel were all first-time competitors in a jiu jitsu tournament. Of those competing for the first time, Gordon took silver, Mustain took gold and Mandel took bronze in their respective weight classes.

“PSU did really well,” Dorsett said. “[Good] in particular, for me, was the women’s division. One of my goals was to have a smokin’ girls team when they go out to compete.”

For Five Rings, the women’s team had four competitors. All three held white belts, but in three different weight classes, and all four took home medals. Jessica Sexton—the only non-PSU woman competitor—took gold, as did Mustain. VanWetten won silver, and Bruschi took away a bronze.

“That was huge,” Dorsett said. “I had coaches from other gyms come up to me and say ‘Dang, where did those girls come from?'”

As for the men, they all had stacked brackets, full of opponents, and for first-time competitors to make it through division like that is quite impressive, said Dorsett.

“I would like to point out how proud I am of some people,” Dorsett said. “Putting aside all the training they do, they have to deal with the anxiety of competing. Especially those who were first-time competitors—but they all came out so composed.”

Over 520 athletes competed at the tournament, ranging from children to older adults. The crowd numbered over 1,000 people, the energy was high and the adrenaline was pumping.

The Revolution was divided up into two categories—gi and no-gi—depending on whether the competitors wore the gi, the stiff canvas uniform used for many maneuvers.

The gi division was broken down by belt and then by weight class. First up were the purple belts, as they had the smallest number of competitors. Next were the blue belts and then the white.

The match duration also depended on the belt color. The matches were seven minutes long for purple belts, six minutes for blue belts and five for white belts. In the no-gi division, there were only three levels: beginner, intermediate and expert. All seven of the PSU competitors were in the gi division, and all held white belts.

The scoring process for jiu jitsu depends on the types of moves done, or an automatic win by putting one’s opponent into submission and forcing them to tap out. Four points are awarded for any type of a mount, of which there are several—side, back and regular. Then three points for a passing guard, and two points for sweeps, takedowns and knees-to bellies. If a competitor does not tap out at the end of the match, they refer to the points for the winner.

“Brazilian jiu jitsu is all about positional dominance and the almighty tap,” said Nick Burke, another assistant coach for the PSU club.

The main gym, where the matches took place, was covered by one big mat that was divided into six gray squares that marked the spot where the individual matches took place. The competitors would start in the middle of the gray square but often ended up rolling out of the square and into another. When that happened the referee would stop them, and as the fighters remained in position, the ref would pull them back into their square by their gis.

Next up for the PSU Jiu Jitsu club is the Winter Cup, a smaller tournament held in December in Seattle, Wash. Then in the spring, they will make a returning appearance to The Revolution. ?