Three members of Summit Grappling Academy were crowned British champions in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu British Open in Manchester last weekend. 

The Hills Meadow-based club currently have the only five competitors to have won the British championship from the Isle of Man in previous years. 

Along with the three gold medals, the team also come away with nine silvers and seven bronzes at the 2024 tournament held in the Belle Vue Leisure Centre. 

All 20 competitors had been working hard in the lead up to the tournament and took part in a 10-week training camp. 

There were some very hard-fought wins and superb performances over the two-day tournament which saw the mixed junior and senior squads compete for the British title accolade. 

Despite an injury, Iona Meban was focused and confident before her match and very quickly won the final with a collar choke submission. She becomes the youngest British Jiu-Jitsu champion from the Isle of Man. 

Summit Grappling Academy member Iona Meban in action in her final on her way to becoming a British champion
Summit Grappling Academy member Iona Meban (left) in action in her final on her way to becoming a British champion (-)

Prior to the tournament, Gianni Fabrizio really focussed on the training camp and extra sessions made available. He was keen to do well and put it all on the line in all his matches.  

His semi-final went very well, with Fabrizio scoring 16-0 and giving him a plan in the final. He continued to rack up the points and ultimately won 20-4 to take gold and become British champion. 

Team-mates Hayley Curtis and Shirley Tung lost their finals in their respective divisions but qualified for the open weight class where they then met in the final.  

It’s inevitable that members of the same team will come up against each other on occasion and this one resulted in Curtis scoring 6-0 points and winning by submission to take gold. 

Laurie Eve went into this tournament with the will to win and produced superb performances in all his matches. In his division’s semi-final he scored 3-0 points before submitting his opponent with a choke, earning him a silver.  

He then qualified for the open weight class where he won the first-round match early by submission after again scoring 3-0. In his quarter-final he scored 3-2 by the end of the match which meant he brought home the bronze. 

Joe Kane has seen big improvements recently and worked hard during the camp. He dominant to win his quarter-final, racking up 6-0 points before submitting his opponent with a choke. A great performance in his semi-final with another submission victory meant he won silver. 

Newcomer Eliza Patterson put on a confident and impressive performance in her semi-final with a fantastic 9-0 point victory which led her to bring home a well-deserved silver. 

Daisy Moore, another who has improved significantly in recent weeks, won her semi-final by referee’s decision and therefore secured a silver medal. 

Alan Greenhalgh had yet another dominant victory in his quarter-final match, winning 9-0 on points at full-time which included a superb single-leg takedown. 

Cedric Brigino, who is the Isle of Man’s highest junior belt, won his quarter-final convincingly with 6-0 points at full-time which gave him bronze. 

Eryn Fitzpatrick took part in only her second tournament - with her first being in March this year - and took home bronze after a 19-2 points win in her quarter-final. 

Summit Grappling Academy head coach Conrad Roberts was delighted with the results, saying: ‘We really pushed the squads in the lead up to this tournament and they have all been working hard and should be proud of the results as we are as coaches.  

‘Three further British champions along with numerous medalists is a fantastic achievement! 

‘Summit would like to say a big thank you to Conister Bank for the support with this tournament and their involvement this year.  

‘DotPerformance were also documenting the camp and tournament and we can’t wait to see the final outcome.’