Galashiels Academy pupils Max and Lex Rogerson made a highly impressive impact at the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu European Championships in the Midlands last weekend, taking home a gold and silver medal.
First up was 14-year-old Lex, who competed for the gold against English-based Polish competitor Kamil Fordon.
Lex started well against his rival, who was representing the renowned Gracie Barra Academy.
Seconds into the contest, Lex locked in a Guillotine choke to which Fordon submitted – only to discover the move was forbidden for under 16s and he received a two-point penalty for his troubles.
Undeterred, Lex went on to dominate the rest of the contest and was victorious by a score of 10-2, confirming himself as European Gold Medal Champion.
Next up was older brother Max (16), who had a very difficult task against five tough opponents.
In his quarter-final match, he was drawn against Spain’s Carlos Martin Paadin and, like his brother, quickly locked in a Guillotine choke, forcing the Spaniard to submit in an impressive time of 13 seconds. The semi-final was against a much more formidable adversary in 2016 British BJJ Champion Alex Gleeson, who would probably have been considered the division’s favourite beforehand.
The more experienced Gleeson dominated the early positional exchanges and, with the majority of the contest over and Max behind heavily on points, it became clear he could only win via submission.
Seizing the opportunity late in the contest, he locked in his favoured finishing move, the Guillotine. Gleeson was locked in for a number of seconds before finally tapping out, securing Max the silver medal.
Max’s gold nedal match was agasint MMA fighter Luke Penberthy, who was quite fresh, having received a quarter final bye and a comfortable semi-final victory. A clearly fatigued Max was competitive for the first two minutes but, with the score at 2-2, he found himself running on empty and was forced to submit via triangle choke.
The brothers, trained by Kevin Hamilton at the Training Station in Tweedbank on Wednesday and Friday evenings, will be attempting to take the British Open title in three weeks’ time.
Anyone interested in taking up BJJ can contact Kevin on 0783 344 8839.