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Ross Martial Arts earns four Regional Championships

Pictured are members of the Ross Martial Arts Fight Team (left to right): front row - Ronda Russell, Brett Schroeder, Dre Pruitt; second row - Daniel Alexander, A.J. Pruitt, Jay Russell, Tristen Fitz-Gerald, Makiyha Lewis, Anthony Baze, Ron Ross, Franklin Richardson, Ethan Garrick, Nikki Smith. Not pictured are Collin Morgan and Matthew Trest.

Pictured are members of the Ross Martial Arts Fight Team (left to right): front row – Ronda Russell, Brett Schroeder, Dre Pruitt; second row – Daniel Alexander, A.J. Pruitt, Jay Russell, Tristen Fitz-Gerald, Makiyha Lewis, Anthony Baze, Ron Ross, Franklin Richardson, Ethan Garrick, Nikki Smith. Not pictured are Collin Morgan and Matthew Trest.

The Ross Martial Arts and Fitness Academy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team brought home four Southeast Regional Championships from an Oct. 26 competition.

The 2013 North American Grappling Association’s Southeast Regional Championships were held in Riverdale, Ga., and features gi and no gi grappling competition in four different levels of experience: novice, beginner, intermediate, and expert. This particular tournament had more than 600 competitors.

“This tournament presented some of the biggest challenges our team has ever faced at a NAGA event,” said Jay Russell, co-owner and BJJ instructor at Ross. “We had two more fighters grappling at the highest level of competition – the expert division; we had two moving up to intermediate, Brett [Schroeder] moved up a weight class and opted to fight older kids, and Mr. Ross, who is 66, was competing against guys in their 40s.”

Collin Morgan poses with the championship sword he won in the 8-9 year-old intermediate boys middleweight division at the NAGA Southeast Regional Championships in Riverdale, Ga.

Collin Morgan poses with the championship sword he won in the 8-9 year-old intermediate boys middleweight division at the NAGA Southeast Regional Championships in Riverdale, Ga.

Ronda Russell brought home two of the fight team’s four championships, as she earned first place in the featherweight expert women’s no gi division as well as first place in the featherweight women’s gi division. She also earned a second-place finish in the lightweight expert women’s gi division.

Brett Schroeder brought home a championship by earning a first place in the lightweight expert 14-15 year old gi division. He also finished second in the lightweight expert 14-15 no gi division, second in the lightweight expert 12-13 year old gi division and third in the lightweight expert 12-13 no gi division.

Collin Morgan was the other Ross fighter to bring home a championship from the competition. He earned first place in the 80-89-pound intermediate boys gi division. He also finished second in the 80-89-pound intermediate boys no gi division.

Jay Russell said Morgan won his second-place medal by submitting his opponent with an inverted triangle choke, which is an advanced technique for a 9-year-old to pull off.

Other Ross fighters placed well in the competition, and their medals are as follows:

•Ron Ross – Second in super heavyweight beginner director’s no gi division. This division is for 40-49 year olds, and Ross is 66.

•Franklin Richardson – Second in light heavyweight beginner men’s no gi and gi divisions

•Nikki Smith – Second in middleweight intermediate women’s no gi and gi divisions

•Matthew Trest – Third in featherweight novice 16-17-year-old no gi

•Tristen Fitz-Gerald – Second in welterweight expert 16-17-year-old no gi and gi

“From the results, I’d say our team faced these challenges head-on and did a fantastic job,” Jay Russell said. “In addition, Ronda and Brett’s wins in the expert divisions added two more championship NAGA belts to our awards. I am extremely pleased with our performance at this event, and I’m proud to coach such dedicated and loyal martial artists.”

Sponsors of Ross Martial Arts are the Fitz-Gerald Clinic, the Chu Clinic, Demopolis MedCenter, Holiday Cleaners, Batter Up Sports Bar and Grill, Southern Pipe and Vowell’s.