By DAWN ARNEACH
ONE FEATHER CONTRIBUTOR
CHARLOTTE – Jerico French and Landon French, both EBCI tribal members, entered their first Brazilian Jui Jitsu Grappling Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Grady Cole Center. Landon won a Gold Medal in the No Gi Division for 14-17 year olds.
His division had only three competitors in a single-elimination format. The first two guys grappled, leaving the winner to grapple with Landon.
“I was nervous going out on the mat,” he said, “but I thought, ‘you know what to do’.”
After several minutes of back and forth, Landon caught his opponent in an arm triangle and won the match.
Jerico took his opponent down early in the match, but was caught in an armbar. After the match, he commented, “The guy didn’t beat me. I beat myself. I forgot the basic, to posture up.”
Both young men train three days a week at the Birdtown Gym with Clyde Dull and on Sundays at BAD (Basulto Academy of Defense) in Waynesville with instructor Armando Basulto.
Cheering on the boys was their family including Lloyd Arneach Sr., Iva Gentry, Tom French and Dawn Arneach.
Having just traveled back from Charlotte, Jerico and Landon both went right back to training on Sunda.
Their next planned grappling tournament is the NAGA Championships scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12 in Riverdale, Ga.