BY MELANIE BUCK –
On August 8, 2015, members of Ouachita Mountain Martial Arts in Mena took a group of athletes to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “Three kid competitors put themselves on the line and came back with lots of hardware,” said OMMA Instructor Andy Threlkeld.
Jace Hankammer brought home two gold medals, as did Andrew Threlkeld, with both winning their respective divisions in Gi and Nogi. “Toby Watkins fought like a champion and battled through adversity, losing his first match only to come back and beat an older boy who was also a belt higher than Toby showing his huge heart and athleticism we’ve all come to know Toby for,” Threlkeld said.
Adult competitors also fared well with Robert Hamilton bringing home a silver medal in Purple Belt Gi division and Pro Nogi division. Nick Badger won a silver medal in Gi and a bronze in Nogi, having to move up and fight bigger opponents due to no one being in his weight division. Andy Threlkeld won a silver medal in Purple belt Gi and a bronze in Purple Belt Absolute (open weight) division.
On October 3rd, the American Grappling Federation held its Arkansas State Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in Conway, Arkansas. Ouachita Mountain Martial Arts brought a big team, nine kids and the instructor, to compete. Andrew Threlkeld won two gold medals. Jace Hankammer won a gold and a silver medal. Gage Henry won a bronze and a silver medal. Guice Anderson won a silver medal. Emory Anderson won a silver medal. Lilly Rowland won a gold and a silver medal. Brody Dickerson won two gold medals. Flint Dickerson won a silver medal. And Emma Threlkeld won two silvers and a gold medal. Coach Threlkeld won a bronze and a gold medal. Threlkeld stated, “All in all it was a very successful day and one of the greatest moments of my life was competing alongside my son and daughter, and not only competing, but we all won gold medals.” Also pictured with medals are Assistant Coach Cody Woods and his son, Auden, who were unable to make the Arkansas tournament due to family obligations, but who competed the following week at Grappling Games in Dallas and brought home a gold and a silver medal each. “They are both invaluable assets to the team and I’m proud of their success,” said Threlkeld.
If you’re interested in self-defense, staying in or getting into shape, competing, self confidence and overall enhancement of your mental and physical health, for you and or your child, contact Andy Threlkeld at 479-243-5076 or go by and see them in the Atwoods Shopping Center in Mena and try a class for free.