HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - Jiu Jitsu students at Checkmat Olympus just got back from an international tournament with an armful of trophies.
The kids display a tremendous amount of skill at such young ages.
"It's something that can help with your confidence and self-defense," said Finn Watson, Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu IBJJF Champion.
"Great stress reliever," said Maggie Owczarek, another Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu IBJJF Champion. "I love beating up kids bigger than me. That's about it."
They are practicing Jiu Jitsu at Checkmat Olympus in Lutz, and they are some of the best in the country in their age groups.
"I could attack any way I want," said Wilder Watson, Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu IBJJF Champion. "I get to do whatever technique I want, whatever submission I want. In other sports, you're meant to do one thing in Jiu Jitsu you could do whatever."
They recently just got back from the Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu IBJJF Champion in Kissimmee. The event hosted over 2,700 kids from around the globe and is the most prestigious Jiu Jitsu tournament in the world for children under 18.
Students work hard to compete in international competitions.
"The results spoke for itself," said Josh Souder, owner of Checkmat Olympus. "So having three gold medals, three silver medals and a bronze made me very, very happy."
Wilder and Finn Watson put a smile on their teammates faces, both won gold medals.
"It felt amazing," said Wilder. "I spent the entire past year training for this very tournament. I did like five classes a week and all of it, it got me this."
"I was confident," said Finn. "I was going to win, and I was like, happy I won."
15-year-old Maggie Owczarek has been involved in the sport for nine years. She also brought home the gold.
Students develop their skills at a young age.
"Before my match, I had a feeling that I was like, I got this tournament. But after, I was crying, I was like, this is awesome. Awesome day," she said.
Checkmat Olympus owner Souder said the hard work the students put in each week paid off.
"Coming home with that many medals says something about the kids hard work and the academy and the atmosphere that they have built," shared Souder.
All the kids at Checkmat Olympus are striving to learn.
"If you want to work hard," said Finn. "It's one of the best places you can go."