Brunei Darussalam can no longer be seen as push-overs in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ), both in the domestic and the regional scene, as is evident with the country’s notable accomplishments in the sport and a flurry of medals from its talented and highly-skilled group of practitioners.
The country is no stranger to the art of BJJ given the number of locally established clubs that specialise in the combat sport.
With a number of passionate and driven individuals who serve as inspiration in the development of the sport, clubs have built the foundations for success with consistent and well-structured training.
The emergence of the sport in the country was especially inspired by consistent training sessions and the determination to strive for excellence, which was matched by the interests of the various clubs in Brunei.
The country has also proven its strengths in the regional scene as local athletes have excelled across various weights and teaching styles with a numerous medals.
The year 2019 has been characterised with success evident from a collection of medals in various classes from a number of local athletes led by Eazy Anuar, who is widely known for pioneering the sport in the country.
In August 2019, Brunei enjoyed a haul of nine gold, six silver and six bronze medals at the Kota Kinabalu International BJJ & Nogi Championship 2019 at the Likas Sports Complex in Sabah.
The competition attracted 21 practitioners from Brunei Darussalam with three local clubs represented including 15 competitors from Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), five from the Refinery and one from Wolfpack.
The Kota Kinabalu meet also marked the biggest number of female competitors from Brunei, signifying the success of the JiujiteiraBN’s movement- building the BJJ sisterhood and empowering women through BJJ.
A month later, Brunei secured podium finishes in the Asian IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the Tokyo Budo-Kan in Tokyo, Japan.
Nobel Lee of the Refinery won a silver medal in the open weight division and bronze in the purple belt Master 2 division.
The local athlete showed that Brunei can put up a fight in the sport against other countries following victories against opponents from Japan and Brazil during his passage to the final. He was eventually defeated by a Chinese competitor by way of submission in the final.
“It was a great experience to test myself against the best in Asia,” said Nobel. “There are no easy matches at this level. Just one mistake can cost you the victory. I truly embraced the challenge and was satisfied with my results.”
Brunei’s female star Angel Lepi also made the country proud after winning the silver medal in the female adult blue belt division.
Angel showed her talents with a 9-0 victory over a Japanese competitor before being cut short of a gold medal after losing to a Canadian opponent in the final.
Brunei finished strongly that year as Rasimoon Adinin of Khalifa MMA announced his arrival in the regional circuit with a gold medal in the Jakarta Brazilian Jiu-jitsu 2019 Open at the Candra Wijaya Badminton Hall, BSD City in Indonesia.
Rasimoon made headlines after sending Tjong Minton Gozali from Warrior MMA Indonesia into a clock choke submission.
The local athlete enjoyed good momentum heading to the final after he triumphed in his semi-final match by points (4-0) against Henrix Setyawan from De Been Jiujitsu Indonesia.
Brunei also bagged four bronze medals through Jacob Kong of Absolute MMA, Muhammad Iskandar of Khalifa MMA Brunei, Haji Abdul Azim bin Haji Isahak of the Refinery Oil Town Jiujitsu Brunei and Nadine Kong of Khalifa MMA Brunei.