Senior Kade Lawson kicked the competition off the mat, winning double gold at his most recent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Pro tournament that took place Nov. 19, 2016 in New York.
The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation holds many championships around the globe, many of which Lawson has attended before. In these world championships, competition can be brutal, sometimes with over 40 opponents in the same division competing for the top slots. However, Lawson has found a method to the madness.
“It’s about making the least amount of mistakes and fighting smart, conserving energy, and feeling comfortable under pressure,” Lawson explains, “All comes with experience, which is why I believe competing in as many tournaments as possible is a key for success in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”
In the weeks leading up to the NY Pro Tournament, intense training was required to prepare for such a significant event. Lawson, a senior at Timber Creek, trained everyday through drilled techniques and a strict diet in order to make his usual weight group.
Lawson felt inspired to begin Jiu Jitsu when he was 11 years old, after watching the sport on television and seeing how it was so different from other types of martial arts. Lawson trains everyday of up to 4-5 hours per session, practicing techniques and strengthening the many skills needed for the sport.
Alongside his personal training, Lawson also teaches Adult and Youth classes as an instructor at his gym. At age 15-16, he began helping his instructor run classes and assisting the exercises, slowly working his way up until he began teaching his own classes.
“I genuinely enjoy teaching others and sharing [my] knowledge,” Lawson shares, “It’s very rewarding watching the students of the class progress and evolve.”
Even though Lawson’s double gold win at the NY Pro Tournament was a huge accomplishment, he continues to aim higher and dominate the ranks. His next competition is a Pro Match on Jan. 21 at the Nytex Sports Center in North Richland Hills.
After high school, Lawson plans to continue teaching and competing in Jiu Jitsu full time. Through all of the long practices, difficult opponents, and exhausting training, his resilience and passion for Jiu Jitsu continues to shine through in his achievements at such a young age.
“Jiu Jitsu has changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” said Lawson, “Outside of school, my world revolves around Jiu Jitsu.”