U.S. Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament in Santa Cruz

Ross Griffis, right, receives his gold medal after winning three straight matches at the U.S. Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament last week in Santa Cruz. At left is Alex Ross, Griffis' coach and owner of Santa Cruz Mountains Jiu-Jitsu in Felton.

A multigenerational contingent of martial artists from Santa Cruz Mountains Jiu-Jitsu descended upon the 19th annual U.S. Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament last weekend in Santa Cruz — and brought back a display case worth of medals.

According to Alex Ross, owner of Santa Cruz Mountains Jiu-Jitsu, said that 11 of his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students competed in the two-day tournament, which was held at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, and featured international competition.

Representatives of Ross’ studio from all ages and skill levels were present, he said, with the youngest competitor being 5-year-old Oscar Thomas, a white belt who scored a gold medal.

For most of his competitors, Ross said, this was not their first time competing, particularly as the event is one of the globally recognized events, higher competition is not easily found.

Also bringing home medals were: Ciara Chatfield (gold); Matt Jones (bronze); Mark Lippert (gold); Maria Willis (gold), Erik Marten (gold); Ross Griffis (gold); Travis Nidarost (gold and bronze); and Dimitris Tauriac (silver).

For more information about Santa Cruz Mountains Jiu-Jitsu, visit http://www.scmbjj.com/

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