Jason Gagnon of Abbotsford brought home a gold medal from the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation American Nationals, held Sept. 7-8 in Los Angeles.
Gagnon, the head instructor at Genesis Martial Arts and Fitness, battled his way to first place in the adult brown belt featherweight division, knocking off Vitor Peres Paschoal – the bronze medalist at the world championships earlier this year – in the final. The victory moved him up to third in the world rankings in his category.
Two other local athletes competed in L.A., and both earned silver medals. Shaun Rackstraw finished second in the Senior 1 middle heavyweight blue belt division, while Lloyd Handy was the runner-up in the Senior 2 super heavyweight blue belt category.
This past week, four young athletes from the Genesis club attended a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu event in Richmond, and all four climbed the podium.
Brogan Bjarnason won the gold in the mighty mite under-55 kg division, while Zeke Kroeker took silver in the same class. Cade Handy (mighty mite over-55 kg) and Gabe Kroeker (junior, 70-80 kg) both earned bronze medals.