[Written by Danny OD]
The 2017 AZ Kids Cup and Copa Bella tournaments went down on Saturday April 29th at Phoenix College and were the most exciting edition yet. Nearly all of the main teams in Arizona had women and youth competitors challenging themselves on the mats, including One Jiu Jitsu, CTA, Maracaba BJJ, Ares/Nava BJJ, Gracie Barra, Lotus Club, Daimyo BJJ, Gracie Arizona, Carlos Farias Jiu Jitsu, Carlson Gracie Team, JCBJJ, Cannon BJJ and our teammates from GD Jiu Jitsu. While everyone who competed from GD was able to show off the hard work they put in on the training mats, two students stood out among the rest; blue belt Yasmyn Castro and orange belt Dominick Hurtado.
Yasmyn competed in the Adult Blue Belt Light Feather division. “I had 2 tough matches and I won both by points. I had no points scored on me.” These matches were enough to earn Yasmyn her first gold medal in competition. “I had definitely been more consistent with my training this time around. My training partners were a lot of help, always keeping me motivated and focused. I think my mental preparation also played a huge role in my performance. I felt confident going into this tournament and I believed in my jiu-jitsu.” Yasmyn will look to carry the momentum from this performance into multiple tournaments in the near future. “I will be competing in the San Diego Open on May 13th, and a few weeks later I’ll be at Worlds. I’m super excited to compete and support my teammates at my first World Championship! From there I’m looking to compete in the AZ State tournament and American Nationals. I want to keep as active as I can on the comp scene. I’m looking forward to the remainder of 2017!”
A second GD Jiu Jitsu standout was Dominick Hurtado. Dom used a variety of sweeps to outpoint his opponents and earn a gold medal. Dom’s fast paced and aggressive style make all of his matches very entertaining to watch. There is no limit to his evolution in the sport especially as the GD kids team continues to grow.
Congratulations to all the GD Jiu Jitsu competitors and we look forward to seeing everyone back on the competition mats very soon!