Terrace’s Mitchell Hess is in Dublin, Ireland getting ready to compete in his biggest martial arts competition yet.
The World Organization of Martial Arts Athletes’s World Martial Games XIV starts this weekend, Aug. 9 and runs until Aug. 11.
Hess, 16, was invited to join Team Canada after winning a gold medal in Brazilian Jujitsu at the Tigerbalm International Tournament in North Vancouver earlier this year. He’ll be competing in Continuous Sparing.
“This was a surprise,” he said, of the invitation to join Team Canada. “I never saw it coming.”
Hess says that although he’s tried other types of martial arts and joined clubs that do combinations of mixed martial arts (MMA) – he even won two silver medals and a gold at his first MMA tournament – jujitsu has always been his passion.
He’s also heavily involved in cadets.
“It’s sometimes hard to balance the two,” he said. “Especially with school added in there. Cadets teach you discipline and self control and so does jujitsu. Both also teach you patience.”
The main club for Team Canada is in Saskatchewan, meaning it’s been difficult for him to train with the main club.
“A lot of training has to happen locally,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to anyone that has competed in the worlds… I am nervous but feel ready.”
He’ll likely be the only fighter from northern B.C. at the competition, and he’s looking forward to representing Terrace.
“I am looking forward to this experience, and I feel grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity,” he said. “It puts a smile on my face to have Terrace put on the map at such a large world event. I’ll be trying my best.”