By Andrew Bell
It was the first National event for UCLan under new leader Brian Naisbitt, who became lead instructor for the club after attaining his brown belt following four years at the university.
The annual event is the first of two main competitions the society take part in each year, and was held at Ponds Forge sports centre in Sheffield between November 14th and November 16th. UCLan took a decent sized team to the event, with 19 people going down and 11 competing.
Speaking about the team’s performance this year, chair Sam Cobham described the Atemi Nationals as a “great success”.
She added: “This year has already been a big one for UCLan Jiu Jitsu. With Sensei Brian now our lead instructor we really wanted to make an impact and build on our success from last years’ Nationals.”
Sam continued: “We definitely had a great presence on the mat due to the overwhelming support of our members, and as a club had one of the biggest individual attendance rates at the whole event. This was key to our success, both on and off the mat and really highlights how the club has grown in recent years. “
University teams from all over the country travel to the event, which consists of teaching from some of the most experienced instructors in the martial art.
Cobham went on to explain just how much of an achievement the results in the nationals were, detailing the process competitors must go through.
“Grades must go through two forms of competition in their category and this after around 5 hours of intense training on both the days. It’s a real testament to the skill and grit of every Jitsuka who competes at nationals and I’m very proud of everyone from UCLan who took part.”
On Heval Agca’s 1st place, she called it “an awesome result” and said everyone at the club wished him success in the future. “Not only did he get gold in the BUCS event, but also within the Jitsu Foundation itself. It’s an impressive achievement and he really made an impact.”
Cobham is adamant the future is bright for UCLan Jiu-Jitsu. “Every success our Jitsuka earn strengthens the club as a whole, and inspires each individual to train harder and expand our knowledge of our style. I’m very proud of our results this year and look forward to our future competitions. “