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The City Journals

Impact Jiu Jitsu Tournament Shows Off Sport and Athletes

Mar 09, 2016 12:20PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Cottonwood - Holladay - Over 115 young athletes from all over Utah and neighboring states competed on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Holladay Lions Recreation Center during the Impact Jiu Jitsu tournament. More than 20 different clubs competed with both boy and girl athletes ages five to 15 years old. The kids competed in weight divisions through a double elimination tournament. First, second and third place winners in the divisions took away medals. 

Roberta Oliveira is the wife of Carlos Santos, one of the cofounders of First BJJ. Santos and Suyan Queiroz are both instructors at First BJJ with years of training and experience in world competitive Brazilian jiu jitsu. According to Oliveira, both Queiroz and Santos used to work in Abu Dhabi where they taught Brazilian jiu jitsu to members of the army and the royal family. They later expanded it to public schools where it replaced physical education. In 2014, the pair came to Utah to found the first Brazilian jiu jitsu club. They were the main organizers of the tournament.

“The intention of hosting the tournament was to share the knowledge of the sport. There are lots of martial arts groups [in Utah] but not BJJ,” Oliveira said. “We apply the same rules and go by the book to raise knowledge of the sport and the group.”

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a martial art, combat technique and a form of self defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting, a technique which uses submission holds like joint locks and choke holds. Brazilian jiu jitsu promotes the idea the bigger, stronger fighter does not always win. By using the tactic of getting both fighters on the ground, it levels the playing field.

In competition, points are awarded to a competitor when successful techniques are used. A competitor can win the match by getting their opponent to either tap out or lock them in a position they cannot escape. If neither of these things happens during the time allotment, the winner is chosen based on points. 

The tournament itself was relatively small when compared to other national competitions. In bigger competitions, girls typically compete against other girls in their own division. At the Impact BJJ Tournament, there were not enough girl competitors so girls had to fight in the same division as boys, though they were matched up by weight class. 

Eleven-year-old Brooklyn Brown from Sryacruse, Utah was one of the girl competitors. Brooklyn has been doing jiu jitsu for the past two years. She was introduced to the sport after going to the gym with her dad.

“I’m not good at other sports, but I’m good at this,” Brooklyn said. “It’s very technical, which I like. You have to think more than in other sports.”

Fourteen-year-old Malachi Novosel from West Valley also competed at the Impact BJJ tournament. He began his jiu jitsu training five years ago after his dad enlisted in the military and he needed somewhere he could be around boys his age and learn important lessons like discipline and sportsmanship. Malachi said he likes the sports in general.

“I like the sport and how fun it is,” Malachi said. 

Malachi used to study gi jiu jitsu, a form of jiu jitsu where the athletes can use the uniform or gi as a weapon, grabbing the gi to force the opponent into submission. After he earned his orange belt in gi jiu jitsu, he moved on to non-gi jiu jitsu, which he is still working on. 

For more information about Impact BJJ Tournaments, visit, email [email protected] or call either 801-300-9132 or 801-864-0440.