01 Mar 17

Limoges kids bring home hardware from international Jiu-jitsu competition

Candice Vetter

Villager Staff

LIMOGES – Two young Limoges residents participated in the Pan Kids International Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Championship at Walter Pyramid, University of California, in Long Beach, in February, and each came home with a medal.

Nine-year-old Emily Anderson won bronze in her division, Junior 1 Female Light, and 14-year-old Kevin Anderson won silver in Teen 3 Male Super-Heavy.

Both studied traditional and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu since a very young age. Kevin began taking traditional jiu-jitsu six years ago and added Brazilian four years ago. His sister Emily has been in traditional for four years and Brazilian for two.

The Villager caught up with their mother the day before they left. “Kevin tried soccer, and wasn’t into hockey, and when he was about nine we thought we’d try martial arts, and entered him in Jiu-jitsu,” said mom Elizabeth. “It helped him on so many levels. Keeping kids active is hard, but he truly loves this sport.” Both kids must be very keen, as they practise up to two hours per day, six days per week.

“Emily had watched him practise and wanted to try it out,” said Elizabeth, who added that she also enjoys piano, Guides and horses. “I have horses too, so that works, but yes, we are busy.”

The Anderson kids work with five senseis, primarily at Therrien Jiu-jitsu in Orleans. Kevin attends Russell High School and Emily is at Cambridge Public School. This is Emily’s first time competing at Pan Kids International, but Kevin attended two years ago. “He was eliminated in the first round,” said his mother, “but that lit a fire in him – he’s only been beaten once since then.”

The wins at Pan Kids aren’t their first medals. Kevin is the current Ontario/Quebec and Ontario provincial champion for two years running. Emily won bronze at the Provincial Championships in Markham last December.

Just the act of going to Pan Kids is an accomplishment for Kevin, considering he broke his leg in October. His mother said, “He was told it would take a year to get better. He fought back with a determination I’ve never seen. It was amazing to watch. And it shows me I’ve done the right thing – I’m not just living vicariously through my kids.”

Between 1,300 and 1,600 children and youth from 20 different countries competed in Long Beach, with 10 mats going at the same time.