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Roshe Run All Black

Roshe Run All Black

Roshe Run All Black

Jiu Jitsu resembles wrestling because it's ground based with an emphasis on control and submission holds. Proponents say it's ideal for self defense.

Much of the focus Saturday was on youngsters as 350 kids one third of them girls donned kimono style uniforms tied together by colored belts and took to the mat barefoot.

The emerging martial art is on display this weekend at San Jose's Independence High School as approximately 900 competitors from the Bay Area and around the country gather for the seventh annual American Cup Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament the largest of its kind in Northern California.

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"I totally get that some parents would be worried," said Nathan Chesmore, of Roseville, Roshe Run All Black who watched son Nathan, 15, and daughter Kayla, 11, compete. "But believe it or not, it's really safe. We used to do dirt bike riding, and I have an older son who broke his leg. This is so much safer."

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Tom Kenyon, of McKinleyville in Humboldt County, said he got his daughters Lydia, 13, and Haley, 10, into Jiu Jitsu primarily so they could protect themselves. But that has evolved into competitions.

´╗┐Hundreds compete at Jiu Jitsu tournament in San Jose

"The Jiu Jitsu that you see in UFC can give people the wrong impression about the sport," Franca said. "Jiu Jitsu here is more about exercise, building self esteem, feeling good about yourself. I don't like my son even watching MMA."

Roshe Run All Black

Roshe Run All Black

Roshe Run All Black

There is, however, a world of difference between this tournament and what you might see from Cain Velasquez the South Bay resident who Nike Roshe Run White Black

Roshe Run All Black

The Bay Area long has been hotbed for martial arts, and now Jiu Jitsu is growing in popularity. For the uninitiated, Nike Roshe Run New Black/White Speckled

"Jiu Jitsu is just in me," said Abdullah, 13, of Fremont, who weighs 77 pounds and trims his Roshes Womens Black

Occasionally some feelings were hurt, but nobody seemed to be getting physically hurt as referees kept a watchful eye.

is the reigning UFC heavyweight champ.

"I don't want to do the kicking and punching," Lydia added. "I want to do the wrestling and trying to get the other person to tap out with choke holds."

SAN JOSE Abdullah Davis spent four minutes tugging, pulling and struggling with an opponent who was at least a head taller than him. But the smile rarely left his face, even after he lost a close decision.

The goal is to get the opponent to submit Jiu Jitsu's version of "cry uncle" with chokes or other holds. Striking is not allowed. And if matches go the distance, winners are decided by points.

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The adults will take center stage Sunday, including black belt matches. But the competitors were more pint sized, with some as young as age 5, as the tournament started Saturday. Family members crowded around barriers, shouting encouragement and recording the action on smart phones as kids competed on six mats.

hair into a Mohawk. "It's hard not to smile."

"If a woman is attacked, you're probably going to end up on the ground and be grappling," said Claudio Franca, a native of Brazil who is the event organizer and operates academies in San Jose, Santa Cruz and Watsonville. thanks to the runaway success of mixed martial arts. Jiu Jitsu techniques have proven instrumental in violent Ultimate Fighting Championship matches.

"I'm kind of small, but you don't need a lot of strength if you know the right technique," said Daysha Patalot, 14, of Sunnyvale, after a match. "Jiu Jitsu has a lot of strategy that makes it different from other sports like karate."

Roshe Run All Black

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