Bonners Jiu-Jitsu aims high

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  • Courtesy photo John Mcleod, Connor Hernandez, and Tanner Weisgram pose for winning pictures.

  • 1

    Courtsey Photo Connor Hernandez raises his hand in victory.

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    Courtsey Photo Tanner Weisgram, Eric Bender, Sam Brown, Keith Thompson, Connor Hernandez.

  • Courtesy photo John Mcleod, Connor Hernandez, and Tanner Weisgram pose for winning pictures.

  • 1

    Courtsey Photo Connor Hernandez raises his hand in victory.

  • 2

    Courtsey Photo Tanner Weisgram, Eric Bender, Sam Brown, Keith Thompson, Connor Hernandez.

BONNERS FERRY — Jiu-Jitsu competitors from Bonners Ferry Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) went to Tacoma, Wash., to compete and represent Team Sylvio Behring USA in the Revolution Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament. The Revolution is one of the biggest Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the Pacific Northwest.

Bonners Ferry BJJ assistant coach Tanner Weisgram entered into four different brown belt brackets and won three gold medals and one bronze. Assistant kids coach and Blue belt Connor Hernandez won a gold medal in his division as well. Students, John Mcleod, Mason Leavell, Rachel Doyle, Marley Olsen, and Jimmy Jessup all went undefeated in their brackets, winning gold medals. Rick Jessop won a bronze medal and Keith Thompson, Eric Bender, Simon Doyle, and John Minor all competed well and won matches but did not medal.

Team Sylvio Behring USA is an association of schools in the USA that all train under Jiu-Jitsu Master Sylvio Behring from Rio De Janiero, Brazil. Sam Brown is a first degree black belt under Master Sylvio Behring and is the owner and operator of Bonners Ferry Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. When asked about the recent success of his students, this is what he had to say:

“I left my coach Brandon Olson’s school in Hamilton, Mont., over three years ago to move out to Idaho. I came here with a vision of opening a school and teaching not only high quality Jiu-Jitsu but also helping to build great character and integrity in all of my students.

“With Team Behring, respect, discipline, hard work, and integrity are things that Master Sylvio not just recommends but expects from all of us. The team always comes first over the individual in our school. I have walked this out before my students and the atmosphere that we’ve created is not only extremely positive but also extremely contagious. On a daily basis, I see my team push themselves and their teammates, they put in the work, they give and earn respect from each other. It’s really been awesome to see something start from scratch and watch it blossom into a much greater thing than I ever imagined it could be.

“My coaches Brandon Olsen and Peter Iacavazzi have been competing actively, at the highest level, over the last two years, with much success. They’ve both won many big tournaments like the Pan American Championships and the US Nationals. Peter Iacavazzi even rose to the fourth ranked IBJJF Masters Black Belt in the world. Their success has motivated me and several on the team to follow in their footsteps.

“About a year ago we decided to add extra competition trainings on the weekends and really step things up. With each tournament this year, the amount of competitors that we take has

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increased and the results just keep getting better and better, I believe the sky is the limit for us. Master Sylvio reached out to me after the Revolution tournament to congratulate the team and told me that he would not expect anything less from us, he knows the effort we put in and was not surprised at all.

“Living in beautiful North Idaho does put us at a logistical disadvantage as we constantly have to travel long distances to compete. We are hopeful to start a sponsorship program and gain support from local businesses to help with travel expenses. With a little help, I believe Bonner’s Ferry BJJ will one day be the home of some future world champions!”

Brown said they plan to take an even bigger team to Spokane on Jan. 6 for the Northwest Open Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Combined with our affiliate school in Sandpoint called, North Idaho Jiu-Jitsu, owned and operated by Jon Brown (no relation), we hope to bring a lot of competitors. If anyone would be interested in sponsoring some local athletes, please contact Bonner’s Ferry BJJ. www.bonnersferrybjj.com https://northidahojiujitsu.com/

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