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Bay Area Jiu Jitsu Championships, 2013 hosted in Alameda, CA

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Over the weekend, my granddaughter and our family attended the Bay Area Jiu Jitsu Championships in Alameda, California. This story and the photographs are a co-creation of myself and my Granddaughter. We watched and talked about the matches, and then we took notes, and did some interviews, and wrote the story together. Two of our friends were competing, and this is the story of two competitors of this event. The photographs were taken by both Miss. L. Morrow and myself.

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The 2013 Bay Area Jiu-Jitsu Championship was held at Alameda High School, the Hornet’s Nest, in Alameda, California, on November 24 from noon to 3:00. We went to watch two friends compete. Troy Carbonel a Hapkido teacher from The Hapkido Institute of San Francisco and Melissa Valdez a student at USF and member of the USF Jiu-Jitsu Sports Club. This was Melissa’s first competition, and Troy is a regular competitor around the Bay area.

Melissa Valdez had three matches today. Valdez is powerful and speedy at the same time. She was the smallest out of all the women, but she was very powerful and won two out of three matches. Her father and two brothers drove all the way from San Diego to be at her competition, and they were cheering and were very happy when she won. She won a silver medal for the women’s white belt competition, and a gold medal for her weight class. She wore a blue uniform, and when the competition ended, she was wearing a silver and gold medal. In addition to her competencies in jiu-jitsu, she is very versatile. She plays Rugby, she works at USF’s summer children’s camp, and she works in the training room in the Athletic Department at USF. Valdez studies Kinesiology at USF. According the reporter, Lola Morrow, Valdez is “really good with kids because she can make them happy when they are really angry. She is good at sports, and at first people recognize this, and want to be like her. She sets a good example for children.” Valdez participated in this event along with other members of the University of San Francisco's Sports Club.

Troy Carbonel, also called Mr. T., participated in today’s championships. Carbonel is a Hapkido instructor at The Hapkido Institute in San Francisco, California. Mr. T had three matches in the championship. He won his matches and won a gold medal in the Men’s White Belt Competition in his weight class. Mr. T’s family and friends came out to cheer him on. A very large group of people came to see him, including his sister and brother, and other relatives. Mr. T is a funny person, and his sister calls him, a Gentle Giant. Mr. T, a large man, was matched against men who were even larger than he was. Mr. T is a wonderful man and an excellent instructor, according to his student, Miss Lola Morrow. Carbonel works for Dennis Ruel at the Hapkido Institute in San Francisco, where they teach Hapkido. The Hapkido Institute of San Francisco emphasizes good decision-making and honors the creed- “self defense, proper attitude, respect, discipline, and 100% effort”. Mr. T is an excellent model for all these qualities.

Thank you to cub reporter and photographer, Miss L. M. Morrow.

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