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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

RP Jiu Jitsu team rakes in medals in int’l tilt



The first national Jiu-Jitsu team which competed in the Regional Championship East / South East Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam dated June 3 – 9, brought home 4 gold, 3 silver, and 6 bronze medals

The team participated in Ne-Waza (ground technique) Jiu-Jitsu. The event is a new discipline in the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IJFF) since 2010 and debuted in the 2013 World Games. The event follows modified rules of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art from Japan. Used by Samurais, Jiu Jitsu evolved through different schools. One of these schools is Kano Jiu Jitsu, more popularly known as Kodokan Judo. When Judo was introduced in Brazil, Carlos and Helio Gracie experimented and adopted the system giving more focus on positions and submissions as opposed to Kodokan Judo’s preference for takedowns becoming what is now known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Several tournaments were held all over the Philippines to determine the members of the national Jiu Jitsu team. Veterans Ali Sulit and John Baylon, both black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo, are part of the national team. All members of the National Ju Jitsu team are seasoned competitors in BJJ.

The team brought home a total of 11 medals as a national team in their first competition overseas.

Annie Ramirez. (2 golds, division and open weight)
Ali Sulit
Hansel TioCo (Playing Coach)

Gilbert Ombao
Froilan Sarenas
John Baylon (Playing Coach)

Gian Dee(2 bronzes, division and open weight)
Louann Jindani-Gutierez
Vanessa Lu
Kaila Napolis (2 bronzes, division and open weight)

Photo by Ali Sulit.



SMART Sports’ Best of 2017: Pound for Pound



2017 was an up-and-down year for Philippine martial arts

While world champions fell and expectations were not met in international campaigns, young warriors also rose. And this keeps the future bright for the industry.

Before we begin, martial artists that need to be acknowledged as well are former ONE Featherweight World Champion Eduard Folayang (Career: 18-6, 2017: 1-1), former IBF Light Flyweight World Champion Milan Melindo (Career: 37-3, 13KO, 2017: 2-1), SEA Games gold medalist Samuel Morrison (Taekwondo, -74kg), SEA Games gold medalist Dines Dumaan (Pencak Silat – Men’s Tanding (Match) Class A), and SEA Games gold medalist Agatha Wong (Women’s Compulsory 3rd Taijiquan).

Here is the top pound-for-pound list for the year that was.

Mixed martial arts: Kevin Belingon (Bantamweight)

Representing the famed Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon is one of the country’s most talented martial artists with a professional record of 16-5.

Belingon is known as a fierce competitor with the ability to finish opponents in a variety of methods as the 29-year old Wushu practitioner owns seven huge knockouts on his resume and is considered as one of the most feared strikers in ONE Championship’s deep bantamweight division.

Since losing to reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in January 2016, Belingon has barged through his top rivals with a slew of fearsome striking performances and showcased his incredible punching power.

It began with a thorough defeat of Tajikistan’s highly-touted Muin Gafurov in October 2016, followed by a complete first-round annihilation of Finnish submission wizard Toni “Dynamite” Tauru at ONE Kings of Destiny in Manila, Philippines.

Those two consecutive wins earned Belingon a showdown with top bantamweight contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren at ONE: Quest for Greatness in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Belingon needed just 62 seconds to end matters abruptly as hee began the bout-ending sequence by dropping McLaren with a well-placed overhand right.

As the Aussie crashed to the canvas, Belingon followed with a relentless volley of punches to finish the contest.

At ONE: Legends of the World in Manila, Philippines, Belingon scored his fourth straight victory by defeating Korean-American contender Kevin “Old Boy” Chung via unanimous decision.

Come 2018, he is looking to get another crack at gold.

Judo: Kiyomi Watanabe (-63kg)/Mariya Takahashi (-70kg)

In a lackluster 2017 Southeast Asian Games campaign, there was a sport that came into national consciousness. Women’s judo hauled two of the medals for the division.

And it’s all thanks to Filipino-Japanese judokas Kiyomi Watanabe and Mariya Takahashi.

Watanabe, who celebrated her 21st birthday last August 25 — a day before she took stage, wasted no time in dispatching Thailand’s Orapin Senatham in the finale, scoring a waza-ari after a throw early in the contest. Watanabe gained control of her opponent, pinning the latter to the mat to eventually win the match in just 37 seconds.

It was her third SEA Games gold medal, and it was also the Philippines’ 17th gold in the competition.

A day after her win, another star rose as 16-year-old Mariya Takahashi overcame great odds to give the country its 21st overall gold in the competition.

Takahashi stunned four-time SEA Games medalist Surratana Thongsri (Thailand) to win the women’s -70kg division. She secured a leg trip seconds into the contest. The young judoka then carefully transitioned to a pin to secure the win via ippon.

With this, the Philippine Judo Federation has big plans for the two as they are grooming them for the Olympics.

Poomsae: Rodolfo Reyes Jr.

To open his 2017 campaign, Rodolfo Reyes Jr., together with brothers Dustin Jacob and Enrico Raphael Mella, kept the SEA Games’ Men’s Team Poomsae crown in the country after a rousing performance in the finals.

The Southeast Asian Games reigning men’s team poomsae champions turned in 8.37 in the Taegeuk 8, but followed it up with an even more impressive 8.43 in Shipjin. That brought the final score to 8.40, 0.6 clear of hosts Malaysia.

The troika bagged the country’s 16th gold medal in the regional meet.

Reyes then flew from Malaysia to Turkmenistan for the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. He won silver in the Men’s Invidual event while copping bronze with the Mella brothers in the Men’s Team event.

Back as a student-athlete last November, he capped his spectacular UAAP career by helping send the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Jins back to the top of the collegiate taekwondo scene during the UAAP Season 80 Poomsae championships.

Brazilian Jiujitsu: Meggie Ochoa (-45kg)/Annie Ramirez (-49kg)

Jiu-jiteros Meggie Ochoa of Atos Philippines and Annie Ramirez of John Baylon Clube de Jiu Jitsu grabbed the sole two gold medals for the Philippines in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Ochoa won the first gold for the country in the 62-nation sportsfest following a convincing 5-0 victory over Vietnam’s Le Thu Trang Du in the women’s Ne-waza -45kg finals.

Ramirez followed Ochoa on the medal stands an hour later after defeating Jenna Kaila Napolis, 9-0, in the all-Filipino finale of the women’s Ne-waza -55kg category held at the Martial Arts Arena.

“I trained everyday coming in, except on Sundays. But the most important part of my preparation was fixing my mindset,” recalled Ochoa, a three-time world jiu-jitsu champion.

“I prepared the entire year for this and it paid off,” added the 26-year-old Ramirez, the reigning continental and Asian Beach Games champion.

With the gold rush in the upstart sport, the Philippines exceeded one-gold, two-bronze performance of the Philippines back in 2013.

And we have the two jiu-jieteros to thank for it.

Boxing: Jerwin Ancajas (Junior Bantamweight)

Reigning IBF Junior Bantamweight world champion Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1, 19KO) is just one of two remaining world champions in the Philippines’ stable. With the way his 2017 went, it seems that he will be a world champion for a very long time.

The 25-year-old pugilist started the year by making his first successful defense of his crown by retiring José Alfredo Rodríguez at the Cotai Arena in Macau.

Fighting in the co-main event of the Battle of Brisbane, Ancajas was not fazed, scoring a seventh round TKO win over Teiru Kinoshita last July 2.

He capped his sensational year by taking over Ireland with a stoppage win over hometown favorite Jamie Conlan in the eighth round last November 18.

With this, the Davao del Norte-born southpaw is being dubbed as the next Manny Pacquiao. Still, he is remaining grounded as he always looks back to the time he was a struggling fighter.

“Lagi naman akong naghahanda talaga at hindi po ako nagpapabaya lalo na parang sakin po kasi, habang tumatagal na nagdedepensa, pabigat na ng pabigat ang mga laban.

“Ganun po yung ginagawa ko talaga, hindi ako nagkukumpyansa. Sa ensayo, ensayo talaga,” he furthered. “Kumbaga ito na yung daan na makilala kami, yung team namin na maipakita yung best sa laban.”

Ancajas will make his fourth title defense on February 3 against Israel Gonzalez.

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Philippine team exceeds expectations in AIMAG



Chef de mission Monsour Del Rosario hardly expected a deluge of medals in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

So it came as a big surprise when Filipino athletes produced far more than what Del Rosario had asked for.

“We succeeded and exceeded the country’s expectations in the AIMAG,” said Del Rosario, the Makati City congressman who also sits as secretary general of the Philippine Taekwondo Association.

The Philippines ended its 12-day stint with two gold, 14 silver, and 14 bronze medals in the biggest continental sportsfest next to the quadrennial Asian Games.

It overshadowed the one-gold, two-bronze performance of Filipino athletes in the previous AIMAG held in 2013 Incheon, South Korea.

“We didn’t make any bold projections and just believed that our athletes can accomplish it,” said Del Rosario, who — along with karatedo secretary general and deputy chef de mission Raymund Lee Reyes — took care of the 116 Filipino athletes who participated in 17 sports.

Jiu-jitsu grapplers Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez captured the two golds worth PHP 2 million each from the Philippine Sports Commission, as provided for by Republic Act 10699 or the amended Sports Incentives Act.

Silver medalists led by Olympian Hidilyn Diaz; trackster Eric Cray; muay fighter Phillip Delarmino, cue aces Chezka Centeno, Rubilen Amit; bowler Kenneth Chua; and the dancesport tandem of German Enriquez and Danella Publico will earn P1 million each from the government.

The 62-nation Games, which included the Oceania region headed by Australia and New Zealand, ended with a lavish closing ceremony late Wednesday night at the 35,000-seater Ashgabat Olympic Stadium.

Completing the silver performers are poomsae specialists Rodolfo Reyes Jr. and Jocel Lyn Ninobla; the men’s rapid chess team under-23 of international masters Jan Emmanuel Garcia and Paulo Bersamina; and jiu-jitsu’s Marc Alexander Lim, Jenna Kaila Napolis, and Gian Dee.

Taekwondo jins Kirstie Elaine Alora, Francis Agojo, Kristopher Uy; and wrestlers Alvin Lobreguito and Jefferson Manatad wound up with bronze medals, as well as kurash grappler Al Rolan Llamas, lifter Kristel Macrohon, and cue master Carlo Biado.

Joining them are the women’s rapid team under-23 starring woman grandmaster Janelle Frayna and woman Fide master Shania Mae Mendoza, and the dancesport pair of Gerald Jamili and Cherry Parcon.

Story and Photo from PSC-POC Media Group

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Meggie Ochoa, Annie Ramirez secure golden double for Philippines



Jiu-jiteros Margarita Ochoa and Annie Ramirez grabbed two gold medals for the Philippines on Tuesday night in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Ochoa won the first gold for the country in the 62-nation sportsfest following a convincing 5-0 victory over Vietnam’s Le Thu Trang Du in the women’s Ne-waza -45kg finals.

“I trained everyday coming in, except on Sundays. But the most important part of my preparation was fixing my mindset,” said Ochoa, a three-time world jiu-jitsu champion.

Ramirez followed Ochoa on the medal stands an hour later after defeating Jenna Kaila Napolis, 9-0, in the all-Filipino finale of the women’s Ne-waza -55kg category held at the Martial Arts Arena.

“I prepared the entire year for this and it paid off,” said the 26-year-old Ramirez, the reigning continental and Asian Beach Games champion.

Ramirez thanked his coach, Filipino judo icon John Baylon, for molding her into a winner.

The government, through the Philippine Sports Commission, will reward Ramirez and Ochoa with Php 2 million each.

The country’s medal production increased to two gold, three silver and one bronze medals, eclipsing the previous output of one gold and two bronze medals during the 2013 AIMAG in Incheon.

Gian Taylor Dee settled for the silver against Omar Alfadhli of UAE in the finals of the men’s -56kg to join Napolis and Marc Alexandar Lim (-69kg).

Overall, Filipino jiu-jiteros ended their campaign with two gold and three silver medals.

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Mark Lim, Jonathan Maquilan advance to medal rounds in jiu-jitsu, traditional wrestling



Jiu-jitsu martial artist Marc Alexander Lim and wrestler Jonathan Maquilan defeated their rivals to move closer to the medal rounds on Monday, in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.


The 20-year-old Lim beat Arslan Setdarow of Turkmenistan, 4-0, in the men’s Ne-waza -69kg division, to the disappointment of an adoring crowd at the Martial Arts Arena here.

The 2015 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships bronze medalist scored four points with two minutes and 40 seconds left in the first round, after locking Setdarow in a superior position.

Lim, who hails from Davao City, next faces Ibrahim Abdulla Mohammed Alhosani of United Arab Emirates in the quarterfinals.

Jiu-jitsu fighter Hansel Terrence Co was disqualified against Saoud Abdulla Yousef Ali of UAE in the quarters, while Gilbert Ombao (men’s ne-waza -94kg) couldn’t overcome the tenacity of Jonibek Atajanow of Turkmenistan.

Joining them at the exit were Apryl Jessica Eppinger (women’s ne-waza -62kg), who lost Buyandelger Battsogt of Mongolia and Lou-Ann Jindani (-70kg), who couldn’t find an answer to Onanong Sangsirichok of Thailand.

Traditional wrestling

Maquilan also moved forward to the quarterfinals following a 5-0 win over Jawid Ahmad Amiri of Afghanistan in the men’s classic -62kg traditional wrestling at the Main Indoor Arena.

Maquilan will have Turkemnistan’s Isgender Asyrow as opponent in the next round.

Wrestlers Michael Vijay Carter (men’s classic -57kg), URCC two-division champion Cris Hoffman Jr. (-90kg), Jefferson Manatad (-75kg), Grace Loberanes (women’s classic -52kg) and Noemi Tener (-58kg) earlier dropped their preliminary assignments.


Ronna Levita Ilao became the first casualty in taekwondo after falling prey to Iran’s Fatemeh Madahi, who prevailed, 10-5, and moved up to the quarterfinals of the women’s -46kg division.


Middle-distance runner Marco Vilog missed the finals after clocking 1:56.62 in the qualifying heat of the men’s 800m ruled by Jamal Hairane of Qatar (1:54.54) at the indoor athletics arena.

Story from PSC-POC Media Group

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