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T&T off to first ever Jui Jitsu tournament

Sunday, July 22, 2012
Off to Brazil are from left Keron Bourne, Dwayne Hinds Team Captain, President of the T&T Combat Sport Association Jason Fraser, Andre "the beast" Fraiser, Joash Walkins, Martin Joseph and Crystal Williams.


Caribbean mixed martial Arts (MMA) champion Dwayne Hinds is set to lead T&T into the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Rio International Open World Champions, from July 26 to 29, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event is expected to host 50 participating nations with T&T being included for the first time. Accompanying Hinds will be seasoned fighters Joash Walkins, Martin Joseph and Keron Bourne, as well as team coach Rondel Benjamin. The team leaves on Thursday. Speaking yesterday at the national MMA training facility, Ruff House, located in St James, T&T Combat Sport Association (T&TCSA) Jason Fraser said that all is in place for the team to travel other than some financial restrains. “In order to make this a reality and have everyone travel, we need to get the Ministry of Sport and corporate sponsors to come out and support.”
He put the cost of one ticket to travel to Rio de Janeiro at more than $16,000. Fraser also noted that the TTCSA is currently negotiating on an exchange camp in Rio de Janeiro with the Gray Seal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. “Right now we are negotiating with the embassy to have Dwayne and the team remain in Brazil to have an exchange camp. Thus far we have seven days to go before that event and it is still a fifty fifty chance.” Hinds, 28 the reigning “King of The Rock” champion of Jamaica said that he is remaining focused on the challenges ahead. “I’m focused on my training and getting prepared. I am not getting involved in the politics. If we don’t go it will be a blow to us because this would be a good opportunity for me and team to know where we stand, if we are world class, (at) Caribbean level or European level.” He continued saying, “At the moment the team’s chemistry is great and these guys are driven and we have some of the best guys in Judo on the team so we should do well.”
Both Bourne and Walkins have been participating in Judo for the past 14 years. The duo recently made the switch as they felt neglected by the judo association. Bourne, a former national boxing and judo champion and three-time Pan American bronze medalist said, “We (Bourne and Walkins) were both elite athletes in judo. I was two points away from qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics four years ago but the association has now pin pointed their focus on youth development and introducing judo to schools.” “When that happened, the experienced athletes suffered. I am too young to be coaching. I should be competing. Four years ago I was two points away from qualifying for the Olympics. Today I’m still here. There is no system in place for the elite athletes so I made the switch to MMA because it is a better avenue that I am taking.”


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