(Courtesy Photo) Josh Thorn on the winner’s podium (center), gi division. Jake Bainton (second place) and Holland McGraw (third place).

(Courtesy Photo) Josh Thorn on the winner’s podium (center), gi division. Jake Bainton (second place) and Holland McGraw (third place).

Islanders compete in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu championship

Josh Thorn, Bobby Dodd, & Warren Maierhofer competed in the championship held in Snohomish.

  • Friday, November 19, 2021 1:02pm
  • Sports

By Beachcomber Staff

On Nov. 6, islanders Josh Thorn, Bobby Dodd, and Warren Maierhofer competed in the Fuji Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) Championship Series in Snohomish, Washington.

BJJ is a combat sport that combines elements of judo and wrestling with a focus on “submissions,” or making your opponent surrender using choke-holds and joint locks.

Thorn, the owner of Vashon Strong and a former Vashon High School wrestler, won two first-place medals in both the gi and no gi divisions. A gi is the traditional Japanese garment worn in judo and other martial arts. This was Thorn’s first BJJ competition and he dominated his opponents with fast and powerful submissions.

“My first competition was about stepping well outside my comfort zone to test what I’ve been learning, but also to learn what I am testing about myself,” said Dodd. “I learned that ego is my opponent.”

Thorn, Dodd, and Maierhofer are members of the BJJ club, Vashon Grappling Arts, which is coached by black belt Levi Danielson and blue belt Fletcher Call. Vashon Grappling Arts evolved during the pandemic as a way to combat isolation, anxiety and gloom.

“BJJ embraces what we call porrada in Portuguese, the focus and intensity we need to face life’s many challenges,” said club manager Maierhofer. “In this sport, we experience a parable of life, death, and rebirth. And with each cycle, we grow a bit keener and, ironically, kinder.”

Open Space for Arts & Community hosts a growing community of “Juijiteiros/as” — a Portuguese word meaning a person who practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

For more information on the program, contact wtmaierhoferpe@gmail.com.




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Courtesy Photo Vashon “Juijiteiros/as” include (left to right) Oxana Onna-Bugeisha, Warren Maierhofer, Josh Thorn, Levi Danielson, Jan Neilsen, Evan Mattingly, Bobby Dodd and Bidzill Dodd.

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