The OJA Provincial Championships were held this past Saturday and Sunday in Barrie, Ontario.
The event was a wild one from the get go, with the blue belt divisions putting on a show to get things started early Saturday morning. Up to six mats were running divisions at once, and competitors from all over Ontario as well as from Quebec, Michigan and New York made the trek to put it all on the line.
Teams were loud and passionately cheered for their athletes and the gym was packed for most of the weekend. The decision to have all adults and juniors compete on one day, with the kids divisions being held on the second day, enabled competitors, teams and supporters a reasonable timeline to follow gi and no gi divisions and allowed just enough space for people to settle into the packed venue with minimal confusion.
The medals awarded were just as beautiful as promised, but arguably the most memorable part about the tournament was the turnout. The best competitors from all over Ontario and the surrounding regions showed up. The coloured belt divisions were as stacked as they have ever been as competitors battled it out to get on the podium.
The absolute divisions were barn-burners with the crowd clinging to the barricades as match after match, exciting, technical, tactical jiu jitsu was put on display all for the title of Absolute Provincial Champion and a paid trip to the 2015 IBJJF Pans. Overall, the two day event was a great experience and definitely, as promised, ended the competition season with a bang.