MITCHELL Wickham has taken on the big guns of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) having recently competed at the world championships in Los Angeles.
Recognised as the world’s biggest BJJ competition, the 2017 International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) five-day tournament came to a conclusion on June 4.
Wickham came away with two bronze medals, picking up his first in the light-feather weight division on day three after making the semi finals in his division.
He had spent the days leading up cutting weight to be under the 53kg limit and competed for the bronze against a student from some of the world’s best clubs, coming to America from Brazil to train full-time in the sport.
The fights were six-minute rounds for blue belts and Wickham fought well, pulling off many sweeps to put him ahead on points for the majority of the match.
With one minute left in the round Wickham got caught in an arm lock, his opponent then winning by referee stoppage.
It qualified him for the open weight juvenile division where he collected yet another bronze medal.
He was fighting competitors twice his size at a world class level, again making the semi finals where he was forced to tap out after being put in an arm lock.
His opponent went on to take out the division.
Overall there were 60 competitors from Australia and only 10 came away with medals or placings.
Wickham said in a Facebook post there were many mistakes from the tournament he would continue to work on.
‘‘I competed well pulling off some nice moves but made many mistakes that need work,’’ he said.
‘‘Thank you so much to every one that sponsored me and helped me in my preparation for this event, this has been such a great experience and it means the world to me.’’
While in LA he trained at Lucas Leite’s club with his father Matthew Wickham.
The experience inspired the pair to continue to keep learning and practicing to eventually return to the world championships and come away with even greater success.