Three Golds for local Kilian Academy Athletes

Saturday (June 11) the Ontario Jiu-Jitsu Association hosted its annual Kids Jiu-Jitsu Festival, a very popular tournament raising funds for children challenged by autism. Once again, Kilian Academy represented Grey-Bruce County, with the Academy going head-to-head with the large clubs across Canada and bringing back hardware.

Canadian Champion and pupil at Harvest Canadian Reformed Christian School, Derrick Scheper, pressed his claim as one of the best in Canada. The thirteen-year-old dominated the teenage boys’ 14-15 yr-old grey belt medium-heavyweight division and was crowned festival champion.

Derrick Scheper 2023 Kids Jiu-Jitsu Festival Champion

“Derrick won his first match in under 30 seconds with an impressive submission by armbar, followed by a triangle submission in the finals in under a minute and a half. Derrick has been part of our youth program since the age of 10 and is developing into an impressive young man, and an amazing athlete”, stated Abrie Kilian, Program Director at Kilian Academy. “Derrick’s opponents are well-established champions in their own right, highlighting the quality of his performance,” added Kilian.

Southampton resident, Hunter Ward, showed why he is Canadian Champion in the teenage boys 12-13 yr-old white belt lightweight division. The twelve-year-old fought hard in a 5 athlete bracket to be crowned festival Champion. “Fresh from his gold at the Canadian Nationals and silver at the Ontario Open, Hunter’s performance is consistently setting the BJJ circuit ablaze. Together with his brother Auron, both Ward brothers are exciting jiu-jitsu prospects to follow, and represent the future of Canadian BJJ”, added Kilian. 

Six-year-old Danyel Kilian, was also crowned festival Champion in the girls’ 6-7 yr old white belt featherweight division. In an age bracket that does not allow for submissions, athletes are encouraged to score points by securing positions. “Pound for pound, Danyel is probably one of our best and most exciting young athletes. She was able to average 12 points per match without ceding any points to her opponents. In three 3-minute matches, Danyel dominated a total of 8 minutes to be awarded gold”, Added Kilian. Eight-year-old Kristahn Kilian secured second place in a tough boys 8-9 yr old white belt lightweight division bracket. “Kristahn was able to win his first match by way of a rear-naked strangle, which served as a tie-breaker in the round-robin bracket to award him second place”, stated Kilian.

Photos by Abrie Kilian
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Thirteen-year-old Timothy Christian School student, Melanie Woodroffe, was awarded second place in the teenage girls 12-13 yr-old white belt, ultra-heavyweight division. “Melanie is working hard at securing her maiden gold medal, which up to now has eluded her. Another of our exciting prospects, it is only a matter of time until Melanie is crowned champion,” said Kilian.

Ten-year-old sister, Kimberly Woodroffe and a student at  Timothy Christian School suffered an unfortunate injury during her second bout and withdrew from the tournament. “Kimberly is an amazing athlete with a bright future in competitive jiu-jitsu. We withdrew her from the tournament to prevent further injury and to allow optimal preparation for the next tournament. We wish her a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing her back in action”, said Kilian.

Ten-year-old, Auron Ward had a tough tournament and ended in fourth place in a seven-athlete boys’ 10-11 yr-old featherweight division. “Similar to his brother, Auron is amazing at BJJ. In as much as the results are not favourable this time around, it is simply a matter of time till it all comes together”, stated Kilian.

With a total of three golds and two silvers with only seven athletes competing, Kilian Academy secured twelfth place out of ninety-six competing clubs. “Grey Bruce County has numerous kids that have the potential to be champions. Kilian Academy will continue to provide professional coaching to our youth. We seek partnerships so that we are able to provide and enrol these future champions in our program, and keep them from withering away in front of screens and bad company”, added Kilian.