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Washougal jiu-jitsu students win big at tournament

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Lone Wolf Jiu Jitsu Academy students show off their medals following the Grappling Industries Portland competition, held Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Happy Valley, Ore. (Contributed photo courtesy Don Stoner)

The Vancouver-based Fabiano Scherner Association, consisting mostly of students from Washougal’s Lone Wolf Jiu Jitsu Academy, took first place Dec. 10, at the Grappling Industries Portland Tournament, held in Happy Valley, Oregon.

The competition featured about 800 participants, young children to adults, from around the Pacific Northwest, competing in Brazilian Gi and No Gi jiu-jitsu events, according to Lone Wolf owner Don Stoner.

“This event (had) all of the best competitors from Clark County and the Portland area,” Stoner said. “It solidifies that our team is the top (team) in this region.”

Lone Wolf competitors brought home seven gold medals, four silver medals and three bronze medals.

“It felt amazing to see my students get the results after all the hard work and the dedication that they put in, training daily in jujitsu in my academy, and studying off the mat,” Stoner said. “Seeing that all pay off, seeing them succeed, was better than any gold medal that I could personally win in any tournament.

“This one was particularly satisfying because I took three new students that had been with me for about a year, dedicated all year to training for this one tournament, and one (Raphael Keyes) got double gold medals, and another one (Reagan Rosseau) got a gold and a silver.”

Stoner said that expected his team to win, but was surprised by the performances of some of his first-time competitors.

“The individuals that had that had just started on their jiu-jitsu journey, that’s always worrisome for me to see how they’re going to do because it can go two ways,” he said. “Either they can win and love it, or they can lose and maybe think about quitting. But even the kids that lost came in the next day and trained and tried to fix their mistakes. And the ones that won obviously came in and showed off their medals and kept training.”

The Lone Wolf Jiu Jitsu Academy, located at 2956 “E” St., Washougal, offers a wide range of jiu-jitsu and cardio kickboxing lessons to children and adults.

Its instructors “teach valuable life skills such as confidence, discipline, self-defense, goal setting and leadership,” according to its website, which also states that Lone Wolf is committed to providing “innovative, relevant, sustainable and accessible martial arts and fitness programs that empower students for life.”

“Jiu jitsu is not a seasonal sport. These kids train four or five times a week all year round,” Stoner said. “For them not to get burned out, and for them to want to come and to want to get better is such a great thing to see, to be able to lead these kids in something that is known as one of the one of the toughest sports and the toughest martial arts as far as advancement. It could take a whole year before their belt changes color; that’s different from other martial arts. Part of the way that they get that the advance is by competing. It just takes a lot of dedication to pull something like this off.”