Brazilian Jiu-jitsu fighters bring the gold home
CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) -- Five Brazilian Jiu-jitsu fighters brought the gold and silver back home to Corning, last weekend. At Bear Hug Jiu-jitsu, the head instructors try to teach their students to be courageous and commit to the art of the sport when they step out onto the mat.
“The benefits of Jiu-jitsu are the mental victories we have on the daily training,” Aron Rocha, the head coach at Bear Hug, said.
Rocha's students competed at the International Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Federation New York Open on August 7th. His five fighters brought home four gold medals and one silver. Rocha said he is grateful that his students put trust in him to guide them to victory.
“The fact that they trust me and when they face all the difficulties that fighting brings...and the fears and everything...overcoming this is the best thing Jiu-jitsu brings,” he said.
Darlene Dittell, Andrea Qasguargis, and Jennyfer Bruno are students at Bear Hug, and push each other to compete at their highest level. They all agreed that they make each other better when it comes to their fighting skills.
“Having my amazing teammates behind me, and pushing me, and assuring me that I can face a challenge that I might not even fully believe in for myself...that was transformational,” Andrea Qasguargis, a three striped, blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, said.
During the tournament at Hofstra University in Long Island, Dittell started at the bottom and fought her way to the top to win her silver medal. Her love for the sport and the people she has met along the way is what pushes her to never give up.
“The friendships that I've made here, the adrenaline I get, and there's something about Jiu-jitsu,” Dittell, a two striped, white belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, said. “It's always filling my soul.”
Rocha said he wants everyone to know, the art of Jiu-jitsu is difficult, but the payoff is worth it.
“What Jiu-jitsu has done for me is that...it's brought confidence,” Bruno, a four striped, white belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, said. “I really was afraid to compete, I was afraid to get on the mat, and pushing myself out there has brought confidence.”
Darlene Dittell, Andrea Qasguargis, and Jennyfer Bruno, Blake Brooks, and Fryes Szabo brought back four gold medals and one silver medal.