A LOCAL mixed martial arts athlete returned from the world competition with a bronze medal.
Mitchell Hess competed in Continuous Sparring for Team Canada at the World Organization of Martial Arts Athletes’ World Martial Games XIV in Dublin, Ireland and said it went well.
“I’m happy. You know, this is something that it’s a world competition, you should be happy if you even placed,” he said, adding that going into the competition, he was hoping for gold or even to be in the top 10.
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.
The competition is a lot rougher at worlds compared to here where people don’t really want to hit you hard as they just want to play, but in worlds, the opponents are serious, he said.
“I ended up doing one [bout]. I got kicked in the throat twice,” he said, about his bronze medal winning bout.
“It’s not legal but it just kind of happened. He (the opponent) got penalized for it.”
After the medal win, Hess took on some coaching responsibility as the staff was a bit shorthanded, he said.
“I went around to the younger guys and helped coach them a bit. They did pretty well,” he said. “One of the guys I’m pretty close to ended up getting gold and the other silver.”
He was a bit nervous to be coaching for his first time, not wanting to say the wrong thing.
“You’re kind of in control of what their mindset is before they go into the next one (fight),” he said.
Team Canada invited Hess to go to Spain for next year’s world competition too, but he’s not sure yet if he’ll be going as it can be expensive.
There’s also a few open competitions in Alberta he’s considering going to later this year – they’re jujitsu-based, which is his passion.
“I’d do more training for these ones because I don’t know what I’d be up against,” he said about the Alberta competitions.