Southampton youth Canadian Champion at CJA Nationals

On Saturday (April 1, 2023) the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Association (CJA) hosted its annual Canadian Nationals at Centennial College. With 600 athletes competing, three Kilian Academy athletes represented Grey-Bruce County, and did not disappoint.

Southampton youth eleven-year-old, Hunter Ward, was crowned Canadian Champion over the weekend, in the boys twelve to thirteen-year-old white belt 87.5 lbs division. Hunter made his debut over the weekend with a stellar performance to receive the gold medal at the CJA Nationals.

“Both Hunter and his brother Auron are amazing athletes. Both competed in a division where they are a year or two younger than most of their opponents, however, this still did not stop the Ward brothers from achieving their exceptional results,” said Abrie Kilian, program director at Kilian Academy.

Photos by Abrie Kilian
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Nine-year-old brother Auron Ward placed second in the boys ten to eleven-year-old white belt 78.5 lbs division. Similar to his brother, Auron made his debut in a division where all his opponents were older and larger, however, Auron was still able to secure the silver medal. “Both Hunter and Auron’s performance is only the start for our youth team this year, as several of our youth athletes will be competing on the BJJ circuit. In two weeks from now, sisters Melonie and Kimberly Woodroffe will make their debuts, followed by the Ontario Open Championships on the 6th of May,” added Kilian.

The thirty-eight-year-old military veteran from Owen Sound, Jonathan Newiger, fresh from his silver medal in Niagara secured a bronze medal in the heavily contested master 1 white belt heavyweight division.

“I am very happy with both my maiden performance and result at the Canadian Nationals. Since the previous tournament, I feel more comfortable with my game and rhythm. My coach and I are preparing for the prestigious AJP Canadian Nationals, with our sites set on bringing back gold.” Stated Newiger.

The Academy ended the 2022 season with 4 AJP Canada National and 5 OJA Ontario Champions. With Hunter being the latest Canadian Champion, the prospects of more champions this year from the Academy are looking strong. Kilian Academy has solidified itself as one of Grey-Bruce County’s leading martial arts facilities.

Kilian Academy’s men’s team has shown great success over the past year. The Academy has started building both a ladies’ and youth team, with the intent to be ranked one of the top BJJ Academies in Canada.