FIGHTERS from Strabane’s Straight Blast Gym were in Letterkenny at the weekend for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Irish Nationals and they came away with an impressive haul of silverware.
Almost 300 entrants from all over Ireland took to the mats and with such an array of talent on show, victory was especially sweet for the local club.
From its seven entrants, Straight Blast Gym returned home with a hard earned two golds, one silver and three bronze medals. It follows a similar tally of medals in February at the Northern Irish Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Open in Belfast.
Barry Gallen put in an outstanding performance, fighting his way through a very tough field of opponents to take a much deserved gold in the White Adult Medium Heavyweight category. With five fights in total, Barry dispatched his opponents in each fight by submission.
Using no fewer than five different submission techniques, the Strabane man turned on what was a truly exceptional display of Brazilian JiuJitsu.
Gareth Vaughan followed up with another gold in the Blue Adult Heavyweight category, again brushing aside some strong opponents.
Displaying class and guile in his fighting ability, Gareth took the final with a lovely rear naked choke.
Also in fine form was Darren Friel. He took silver in the Blue Light Feather category following a very technical fight and only missed out by the narrowest of margins.
The strong run by SBG Strabane continued with three bronze medals from Barney Harte in the White Light category, Davy McFeeters in the White Middle category and Ciaran Neeson on his debut in the White Heavy category.
An SBG Strabane spokesperson added, “We would like to thank coaches Garath Vaughan and Darren Friel who prepared the team so well and the success is testament to the hard work and dedication they put into the club.”
SBG Strabane have moved to new premises at the Dublin Road Industrial Estate and training is on Thursday and Friday evenings from 8pm to10pm.
The club added, “We pride ourselves on providing a friendly and inclusive environment and welcome anyone wishing to take up Martial Arts or self defence to come along and have a go.”