On September 23, 2017, Cody Woods of Southern Impact Martial Arts in Mena competed in the River Valley Jui-Jitsu open in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Woods trained to compete in the 150-165 pound no-gi (absent of the traditional martial arts uniform) division, but due to a last minute series of events he ended up competing in a conglomerated 150-185 pound no-gi division. On top of that, also a last minute development, Woods competed in a gi (traditional martial arts uniform) division that was open to all weight classes and experience levels.
The no-gi division was set up in a single elimination format in which Woods won his first match via a toe hold submission, but lost his second match on points with a score of 2-4.
The gi division was set up in a double elimination format and this is where the true story of accomplishment takes place. Woods does not regularly train with a gi, to the point that it had been over a year since the last time he had trained in one and had never competed in one. Despite this fact, coupled with Woods’ late addition to the open weight class gi bracket in which he weighed in at only 163 pounds, he was still able to have an impressive showing.
Woods competed five times in the gi division, winning his first match via a kimura submission, losing his second match via bow and arrow choke, winning his third match by points 4-0, winning his fourth match rather one-sided with a scorecard of 10-0, and losing his fifth match by points 2-4. This was enough for Woods to claim the bronze medal in a division that he had not trained for nor even had any intention of competing in.
Woods is a trainer at Southern Impact and specializes in submission wrestling and encourages anybody interested in grappling, MMA, self-defense, or just getting into shape to contact Southern Impact at 479-216-0602 or check out the Southern Impact Facebook page where there is a vast collection of videos showing past grappling competitions and fights of the Southern Impact team.