Competition choked out at Alberta tourney

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A Yellowknife man has captured gold at the Canadian Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Federation (CBJJF) Alberta provincial championship Scott Thomson competed in the 168-pound weight class in the white belt division on May 12, just four months after taking part in his first Brazilian jiu jitsu training session. Thomson, the owner of Just Fitness in Yellowknife, says that while he is new to competing in combat sports, his experience training others in the gym paved the way to victory.

Scott Thomson, centre, stands atop the podium at the Canadian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Alberta Provincial tournament. photo Courtesy of Scott Thomson

“It was my strength and fitness that won it for me,” said Thomson. “These guys that I was fighting had been white belts for two years and I had been at it for four months.”

Thomson, who focuses on building strength everyday for himself and his clients in Yellowknife, first got involved in training marital artists when he partnered with John Stanley of the Warrior

Strong Fight League to do strength and conditioning for other fighters. After that, Thomson decided to give combat sports a try, something that he says was quite a change of pace from his regular workouts.

“Doing our own program [at Just Fitness], I built a lot of strength. I walk around at 175 to 180 pounds and I’m relatively strong for my size, we had to cut down on that and start focusing on endurance and conditioning,” said Thomson.

That conditioning became vital during the seven-hour tournament, especially because fighters had a maximum of 20 minutes of rest between matches.

“Each match was seven minutes, then you would get a one to two match break before your next one, meaning sometimes you would be fighting again in ten minutes,” said Thomson.

It was a one-and-done style tournament, meaning one loss and you were eliminated. He was competing in one of the larger divisions, which boasted a total of nine fighters, meaning he had to win three fights in a row to capture the gold medal.

Endurance and stamina were the keys to victory in the seven-hour tournament.

“If you win, you have the opportunity to go into the open division and fight against everyone else in your weight category, but after being there for seven hours I just wanted to go have a beer,” he said.

Next up for Thomson is the British Columbia provincial championship on June 16 and despite having a tournament win under his belt, he says he isn’t changing his mindset going forward.

“I wasn’t going down there with any false hopes, I was going down to get the experience,” Thomson said. “And I’m not going down there with any expectations this time either.”