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Lahaina Jiu Jitsu students win medals at statewide competition

By Staff | Oct 1, 2015

808 Jiu Jitsu students wear medals earned at the Hawaii Triple Crown series. Pictured, from left, are: front row — Zolten Poulsan, Dylan Lat, John Carlos Lat, Khyren Purdy and Brayden Valencia; back row — Sensei Christian Grandi, Asher Halik, Taj Pitts, William James Wilson, Wyatt Richardson, Kadin Finlayson and Steve Krawczyk.

LAHAINA – The success continues for 808 Jiu Jitsu in Lahaina. The martial arts club of the highly regarded Carlson Gracie system, under the guidance of third degree black belt Christian Grandi, recently competed in the Hawaii Triple Crown series that included events on Oahu, Kauai and for the first time on Maui.

The meet was held at the Maui High School gymnasium in Kahului on Sept. 19 and drew over 150 entrants for the event, which is regarded as the unofficial state Jiu Jitsu championships.

Sensei Grandi’s 808 Jiu Jitsu club sent 12 competitors to the Central Maui tournament, and all of them came home with medals.

There were gi and no gi categories, and many of the 808 competitors signed up for both divisions.

In the youth groups, Asher Halik led the way with two gold medals in the 7-8 age group. He was joined by Dylan Lat and Zoltan Poulsan, who both won bronze medals in the category.

Khyren Purdy and Kadin Finlayson won gold medals in the 9-10 events. They were joined by bronze medal winners Taj Pitts and Rex Culligan.

William James Wilson topped the youth division 808 effort with a gold in the 11-12 category.

In the adult divisions, Grandi’s 808 team was led by Jordan Arakawa and Alex Iskendarian winning gold medals in the blue belt division, along with Randy Hayes, who won a bronze in the same category.

“We are happy with how the competition turned out for us – I think we did really well, and it was a good experience for all of the students to compete in a tournament,” said Sensei Grandi.

“Now we will begin to practice for the NAGA (North American Grappling Association) event in Honolulu on Oct. 3. This is the big one for us.”