SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Martial Arts on St Maarten reached another milestone this week. SXM BJJ held demonstrations and graduation for the youth Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai kickboxing students, the organization said in a press statement on Friday.
Students demonstrated techniques in front of family and friends followed by live training. Children’s belts are awarded with high frequency than adult belts, as the minimum age for the first adult rank of blue belt is 15 and typically takes two years of dedicated training.
Achievement coins were awarded to three Jiu Jitsu students in each class for outstanding, discipline, technical skills, improvement, and helpfulness: T'shaira Hodge Hippolite, Nathan Dowling Busby, Leyah Lucas, Denzel Charles, Sael Hinkfoot, Vlad Ahlip, Meshach Hazel, Sophia Chamas and Patrick Szabo earned achievement coins.
The following students earned stripes signifying progress: Nathan Dowling Busby, Louisa Vanden Eynde, Justin Samaroo, Tristan Lista, Leyah Lucas, Abraham Lugo, William O'Keefe, Keani Offringa Ravesteijn, Rohan Rinker, Shania Samaroo, Miles Cheasley. Grey/white belts were earned by: Angelo Gioia, T'shaira Hodge Hippolite, Shahyr Phillips, Denzel Charles, Gerald Henry Colon, Xavi Daal, Sael Hinkfoot, Tariq V, Omar Nicholson. Grey: D'jeni Anselm, Mohit Balaji, Nila Benjamin, Ayla Bus-Kiric, Kaelan Caballero, Aria Kukreja, Dawson Lake, Megan Lockhorn, Gabriel Sweetman, Kenron Vanterpool, Nahayla V, Sophia Chamas, Ekam Singh. Grey/Black belts: Aarav Kukreja, Keenan Benjamin. White/yellow: Alexander Roper, Maxime Rosa Olivia Shepard, Gabriel Mendez Amado, Jean Harold Audebert, Patrick Szabo. Yellow: Nathan Shepard, Rylan Benjamin, Jaali Galvani, Justice Lawrence, Nahjae A. Prince. Yellow/Black Sernik Porcasi,Emily Roper. Orange/white: Djahmar Euson, Meshach Hazel, Sebastiaan Hoekstra, Dorina Smirnova. Orange: Eldric Phebe. Orange/Black: Nakysha Jederon. Green/Black: Aidan Wilkie.
Historically there is no ranking system in Muay Thai, the traditional kickboxing martial art of Thailand. Head Instructor and Cole Bay representative of Team Sityodtong St Maarten see the use of ranking is a great motivation for children and a measure of progress and adapted a ranking system using arm bands. Sensei Akeem Lewis explained “In Thailand, the use of an armband, also known as Prajioud was traditionally made from a torn piece of a mother’s sarong (dress or skirt cloth) and tied on the arm before Muay Thai fights for good luck and protection. This tradition was originated during times of war where mothers would see their sons go off to war and offer them good luck and protection. We adapted an arm band ranking system similar to the kids belt color system of BJJ.”
Over 25 kids were promoted with “prajioud” arm bands. White rank awarded to Kai Calder, Zaydante Tonge, Jru Adams, Ishaan Alwani, Sahil Menghani, Alberto Matos, Brendan Bertrand, Jabari Illidge. White and yellow arm bands were awarded to: Jamiel Celestine, Luna Peterson, Skye Peterson, Roshaiyro Edwards, Lyan Abouzeid, Aiden Newton. Yellow arm bands were awarded to: Damien Valasco, Liam Swaby, Edward George, Liam Sisal, Hamza Abouzeid, Seybian Ortega, Mason Hoeve, Daniscio Bryan. Orange and white arm bands were awarded to: shayne Gibbs-Claxton, Meshac Hazel. Orange arm band was awarded to Eldrick Phebe.
Sernik Porcasi who is already ranked at a green arm band “highest rank for kids” was award a certificate for his outstanding performance, technical skills and behavior in the class.
SXM BJJ martial artists are required to have integrity, honesty, discipline and humility. Students learn fighting skills only to be used in self-defense or organized competitions. Fighting in the street is strictly forbidden. Instructors hold their students by this guideline. The aim of the program is to instill discipline, respect, and self-confidence in each student.
Sernik green band promotion
Jiu Jitsu Kids age 5-6
Muay Thai Kids age 5-9
Muay Thai Kids Group Graduation Age 5-9
Jiu Jitsu Kids age 7-9
Jiu Jitsu Kids age 10-13