Academy students prove to be quick learners

Bill Fraser's martial arts students winning medals and titles

The Academy of Martial Arts & Fitness competitors did well at the Be First tournament in Victoria.

The Academy of Martial Arts & Fitness competitors did well at the Be First tournament in Victoria.

The Academy of Martial Arts & Fitness is enjoying a highly successful 2016, with 11 medals, one championship belt and two first-time amateur MMA fights in the first three months.

Jordan Salamon started things rolling Jan. 30 with an amazing display of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the San Jose Open in California. He secured silver in heavyweight masters 1 division and gold in open weight masters 1, both at the blue belt level.

Next up was the CBJJ Provincial Championships, where Cullen Kendall tenaciously took third in the adult lightweight white belt division, notoriously one of the biggest divisions in local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.

Jordan Salamon and Mike Pighin also competed in this tourney, however they didn’t get the results they were looking for podium wise.

Boyd Bags Medals

March 12 was the most action packed day so far, said The Academy owner Bill Fraser. “Not only was it Ali Cranmer’s first MMA amateur fight, Mark Fabris’ first time back in MMA action after several years, Chris Anderson’s first Pro MMA title fight… Scott Boyd travelled to Portland, Oregon to compete in NAGA, notorious for its wide-open grappling submission rules

“Scott, who’s a 40-year-old military firefighter and full time med school student, somehow found time to wrestle two silver (executive advanced super heavyweight No-Gi division and blue belt division) and one gold (Inter No-Gi division) medal away from his competition.”

Debuting in the Cage

Ali Cranmer had a tough first outing in her first amateur MMA fight in the Battelfield Fight League cage. Despite battling flu, she did her best and gave her opponent lots of trouble in the first round, winning it by having some good stand up exchanges and taking her back in the final 30 seconds of the round. Unfortunately, her cardio gave out and her opponent kept pressing the action, getting the TKO stoppage at the end of the second round.

Next up was Mark Fabris. “Mark got clipped in the first exchange, but managed to secure an amazing takedown, slamming his opponent onto the mat,” Fraser said.

“The rest of the round was a grappling clinic by Mark, solidly winning round one. Mark’s opponent regrouped between rounds and came out with solid wrestling, stopping Mark’s takedown attempts. As the round wore on, Mark took a couple of shots that made the referee step in and stop the fight.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Ali and Mark for showing such determination, heart and skill,” Fraser said. “Stepping into that cage for the first time is a monumental victory by itself.  Very few open themselves up to this type of challenge.”

‘Bukwas’ Wins Belt

On to the main event of the night… Chris “Bukwas” Anderson vs. BFL welterweight champ Curtis Harriot. “Right away Chris lands a clean right hand that stuns the champ, from that point on it was Chris’ fight,” Fraser said.

“Curtis did get a takedown early in the first round, however, Chris used his half guard sweep and started attacking the legs of the champ looking for a knee bar and heel hook. Curtis scrambled back to his feet.

“Chris was relentless with his attack, almost getting the stoppage late in the round. Curtis was saved by the bell. Chris stepped on the gas pedal in round two, sensing that Curtis was broken,” Fraser said.

“Chris took down the champ and went to work, landing punches and elbows. The ref stepped in when Chris landed an elbow that caused a six-inch cut on Curtis’ forehead. ‘Bukwas’ is the new BFL pro WW champion in only his third fight as professional MMA athlete!”

Be First Tournament

On April 2 The Academy team was in Victoria for the “Be First” tournament.

Ashlee Jarvis was first up in the women’s advanced kickboxing division where she won all three rounds to claim victory. In the advanced No-Gi division she outclassed the other three competitors to again take first place – “Double gold for Smashly!” Fraser said.

Scott Erikson was next up in the juvenile kickboxing division. Despite suffering a bloody nose in his first match he went on to win silver.

Jared Clance was up next in the open weight Gi division where he placed second. “This being only his second competition, he gassed quickly and continued to compete despite being exhausted.

“Going into his heavyweight division he had another five Jiu-Jitsu matches to go after the three he had in the open class,” said Fraser.

Andrew Buckland made quick work of the open No Gi advanced division, taking gold with submissions in all three of his matches.

Craig K. closed out the day with second in the heavyweight white belt Gi division.

“If you are looking for a place to have fun, get in shape and learn some new skills, The Academy of Martial Arts & Fitness is the place for you,” Fraser said.

“The qualified instructors express quality over quantity, and there is lots of personal attention to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.”