Ross team takes trophies

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ross Martial Arts & Fitness Academy’s competition team switched gears from grappling to stand-up fighting Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Alexander’s Open Martial Arts Tournament in Madison, Ala.

A team of five competitors brought home 11 trophies from the forms, weapons, point sparring, and kickboxing competition hosted annually by the Alabama Karate Circuit. The wins included four first place finishes.

“We’ve done a lot of jiu jitsu competition this year, and that has kept us from being as active in the open martial arts circuits,” Ross MA instructor Jay Russell said. “However, we had enough interest in competing at this event to put a team together, and we certainly haven’t slacked off in our sparring or forms training.”

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Russell said the Ross Fight Team led off the day’s events with Jacob Dill competing in and winning his first-ever kickboxing matches in the 15-17 year old youth middle weight division.

“Jacob set the tone for the whole day,” Russell said. “He fought two matches against a blue belt and a red belt opponent, and he truly dominated both of them.”

Russell, who is a two-time state champion in the men’s black belt continuous fighting division, stated Dill displayed tremendous heart and stamina as he captured first place over the higher ranked opponents. He added that Dill went on to capture second place in 16 and 17 year old point sparring and third place in open-hand forms. Other members of the team who placed were: Patrick Hall, first place in beginner 10 and 11 forms and third place in beginner boys sparring; Mackenzie Dill, first place in beginner girls’ 10 and 11 sparring and third place in forms; Brett Schroeder, first place in intermediate boys 8 and 9 sparring; and Emily Hall, second places in beginner to intermediate 11 and under XMA forms, second in sparring, and fourth in forms.

“Patrick had an outstanding win in the forms division as he beat out six other kids for first place,” Russell said. “I was also impressed with how well both the girls (Emily and Mackenzie) did as this was the first open martial arts competition for them both.”

Russell said Schroeder was as dominant as ever in point sparring, besting five other junior fighters for his first place trophy and claiming one win with a spinning hook kick to the head that stunned the audience and judges.

The team at Ross Martial Arts Academy, 1613 Highway 43 South in Demopolis, will spend the next month ‘cranking up’ their training schedule to prepare for the state finals on Sept. 17 in Fayette, Ala.

For more information on tournament locations, dates, or rules, check the AKC website at