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Martial arts team takes Hartselle hardware

Members of the Ross Martial Arts Academy competition team traveled Saturday, Mar. 27 to Hartselle to compete in the Hartselle Karate and Jiu Jitsu Championships.

According to Ross MA instructor Jay Russell, the seven-member team captured 16 trophies, including eight first place wins.

“I cannot tell you how proud I am of all of our team members,” said Russell, “but I’m especially proud of those students who competed in the grappling divisions this time.”

Russell said that, although his wife and fellow instructor Ronda won the women’s no-gi grappling state championship last year, this was the first time the academy’s students had competed in grappling and jiu jitsu at an Alabama Karate Circuit event.

“The grappling divisions have really been growing in the AKC,” said Russell. “Our team really faced some stiff competition in Hartselle because we were up against some solid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools and mixed martial arts clubs as well as some guys with strong wrestling backgrounds in North Alabama.”

Ross MA instructor Ronda Russell won first place in women’s gi grappling, first place in women’s no-gi grappling, and second place in traditional forms competition.

Others who placed were: Tyler Bowers – first place in 8-year-olds point fighting, third place in beginner and intermediate XMA/Creative forms, and third place in traditional forms; Brett Schroeder – first place in 8-year-olds intermediates traditional forms, second place in beginner and intermediate XMA/Creative forms, and third place in point fighting; Joey Jones – first place in 16-and-17-year-olds point fighting and first place in 16-and-17-year-olds heavy weight gi grappling; B.J. Webb – first place in 16-and-17-year-olds middle weight gi grappling, first place in 16-and-17-year-olds middle weight no-gi grappling, and third place in point fighting; Craig Jones – first place in beginner and intermediate men’s heavy weight kickboxing and second place in men’s beginner point fighting; and Nick Glass – third place in beginner men’s point fighting and fourth place in men’s heavy weight gi grappling.

Students and instructors at Ross Martial Arts compete throughout the year in six AKC tournaments around Alabama.

Team Ross will see action again on May 15 at the Pirate Challenge Martial Arts Tournament in Winfield.