Kaua‘i grapplers shine at jiu jitsu tournament

Jiu Jitsu teams throughout Hawai‘i came to Kaua‘i this past weekend to compete in the nationally ranked 2003 Grappler’s Paradise competition.

Participating teams were (Kaua‘i) Ka-Mole Jiu Jitsu, KG Jiu Jitsu, Longman Jiu Jitsu, (O‘ahu) Casca Grossa and (Big Island) Nova Uniao. The most outstanding team of the competition had to go to Kaua‘i’s very own Kamole Jiu Jitsu, instructed by Carl Ragasa and Kyle Sukehira, for displaying an awesome performance by winning the advance Gi and No-Gi competition.

The Ka Mole team consisted of nine competitors: Three white belts, five purple belts and onebrown belt. Competitors had two categories to choose from, Gi and No-Gi. Weight divisions varied in both categories.

In the Gi category, white belts Garrick Lopez and Chris Simpson won 1st and 2nd place in the lightweight division, Kalin Cummings won 1st place in the middleweight division and most outstanding Ka Mole member Garrick Lopez at only 151 lbs. Won 1st place in the open weight white belt division where he tapped out all three competitors (over 200 lbs), two in less than 35 seconds. All three Ka Mole white belt competitors had less than three months of training. In the purple belt division team members were Kaleo Lopez, Kaeo Lopez, Kavin Chang, Mark Michetti and Eric Padjak.

Winning 1st place by submission was Kaleo Lopez in the lightweight division. Due to no other purple belt competitors, 1st place was automatically given to the remaining four Ka Mole team members. In the brown belt division, Ka Mole’s Eben Kaneshiro took 1st place due to no other entrants.

In the No-Gi category, there were three divisions, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Ka Mole’s Garrick Lopez was the only competitor in the intermediate division, who lost in a tight match with Longman’s Jonathan Moeller due to an unfortunate knee injury during the match. In the advanced No-gi division there were two weight divisions, 160 lbs. and under and 161 – 185 lbs., which Ka Mole took both 1st and 2nd place in both divisions.

In the lightweight division (160 lbs. and under), 1st place was Eben Kaneshiro and 2nd place was Kaleo Lopez. In the medium weight division (161-185 lbs) 1st place was Kaeo Lopez and 2nd place was Eric Padjak.

The Ka Mole team also participated in the 2003 NAGA Hawaiian State Grappling Championship IV held in Oahu on Sept. 13, where Kyle Sukehira and Eben Kaneshiro defending champions in the advanced No-Gi division defended their titles. Kyle once again won 1st place in the advanced No-Gi division followed by Kavin Chang placing 3rd. In the no-gi masters division Eric Padjak took 1st place and 4th in the No-Gi advanced middleweight division. In the Gi category Kyle Sukehira and Eben Kaneshiro won 1st and 2nd place in the purple and above lightweight division. Due to the results of this competition and their outstanding performance Kyle Sukehira was promoted to black belt and Eben Kaneshiro promoted to brown belt by instructor Carl Ragasa. Due to his great success and defeats, Kyle along with teacher Carl Ragasa, decided that he would sit out of the Grappler’s Paradise Competition and leave it up to his team members.

Much mahalo to event coordinators (Grappler’s Paradise 2003) Kendall and Laura Goo and all team participants Casca Grossa (Chris Onzuka), KG Jiu Jitsu (Kendall Goo), Ka Mole Jiu Jitsu (Carl Ragasa/Kyle Sukehira), Nova Uniao (BJ Penn) and Longman Jiu Jitsu (Jared Espina).

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