Edwardsburg brothers win in ChicagoPublished 9:32pm Thursday, September 20, 2012
Two Edwardsburg brothers captured first places in the Illinois North American Grappling Association (NAGA) tournament in Chicago Aug. 18-19.
Tanner Woods, a 2011 graduate of Edwardsburg High School, attends Michigan State University.
Hunter Woods, a 2012 EHS graduate, attends Southwestern Michigan College.
Both brothers, sons of Dennis and Deb Woods, entered gi and no-gi events in their individual age and weight classes.
A gi is the uniform worn by those practicing the martial art of jiu jitsu.
Tanner placed first in both events in the men’s gi and no-gi intermediate featherweight division, while Hunter placed first in both his events in the teen gi and no-gi intermediate light heavyweight division.
Tanner’s tournament record for the past two years since he began studying jiu jitsu is an unblemished 10-0.
Both are learning Carlson Gracie Brazilian jiu jitsu from Wally Holem in Mishawaka, Ind.
Brazilian jiu jitsu, or BJJ, is a martial art, combat sport and self-defense system focused on grappling, especially ground fighting.
BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique, such as joint-locks and chokeholds, to defeat an opponent.
Mixed martial arts, combining BJJ grappling and kickboxing, boosted its visibility with pay-per-view Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments and a reality show on Spike TV, “Ultimate Fighter.”