Three members of Oak Harbor’s Wakizashi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu studio earned gold medals at the North American Grappling Association’s World Championships Dec. 7 and 8 in Duncanville, Texas.
Together, Jules VonDoom (190-pound blue belt), Steven McMahon (super-heavyweight purple belt) and Miles Lewis (180-pound blue belt) combined to win eight medals.
The three, along with Ariana McClain, make up what WakizashiBJJ owner and lead instructor Eli Trevino calls his Four Horsemen.
The group has led the Oak Harbor studio to successful performances in a variety of tournaments, including taking the team trophy in a meet in Oregon in July when the four earned at least two medals each.
Over the past year, WakizashiBBJ students have competed in more than 30 competitions in the United States, Canada and Japan, and every athlete from the studio who chose to compete “made the podium,” according to Trevino.
Four to five adults and five to 10 children participate in each tournament, Trevino said.
In all, WakizashiBJJ has about 40 students.
Trevino, who retired from the Navy in 2009, has been competing for 14 years and coaching for nine.
WakizashiBJJ is the first school in the United States to partner with the Ronin Foundation, an organization that sponsors active duty military members to train in jiu-jitsu.
The next major tournament is “Revolution” next February in Tacoma.
Trevino said several local police officers workout at his studio and more are welcome to train for free.
“We also encourage members of the wrestling team to cross train with us,” he said. “One of our children, who has been training with us for about a year, decided to join the Oak Harbor wrestling program and has placed at every tournament she has entered.”