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Creston Jiu-Jitsu athletes excel at Alberta tournament

Creston’s 13 athletes took home a staggering 10 gold medals

After two years, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments have returned to action as Creston’s Jiu-Jitsu club sent 13 local athletes to compete at the Alberta Provincial Open in Red Deer. Over 800 competitors from Alberta, B.C. and the United States took to the mats to compete in one-on-one submission grappling matches.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport based on self-defense, ground fighting and submission holds. Jiu-Jitsu focuses on the skill of taking an opponent to the ground, controlling them, gaining a dominant position, and using a vast array of techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or strangleholds.

Creston’s 13 athletes won nearly every match by submission and took home a staggering 10 gold medals, seven silver, and two bronze.

“Everyone has trained incredibly hard for this, the whole team took it seriously,” said Mark Artyniuk, coach at Creston’s Combat Fitness.

“Everyone cleaned up their diet, showed up and trained four to five nights a week and you could see the physical change. They were all more technical, confident, leaner, stronger and faster. I’m incredibly proud of what we accomplished. This was the first competition for nearly all of them, competing in a combat sport is a very stressful experience that takes massive commitment, and they all absolutely crushed it.”

With athletes ranging in age from 12 to 53, the team supported one another through over 12 straight hours of matches until the very end. A total of 74 schools participated in the event. At the end of the day, Creston’s small club with just 13 competitors placed seventh overall in medals, an incredible accomplishment considering the fifth place school has roughly 1,000 students in Alberta alone.

Several fighters won gold in both traditional “Gi” where athletes wear a judo style Kimono which is used as a weapon to strangle, throw and control the opponent. As well as “Nogi”, where athletes wear shorts and a shirt and gripping the clothes is not allowed, but the object to control and submit your opponent is the same.


Alex Tyrlik - Gold in Gi and Gold Nogi

Dlyar Mohammed - Gold in Gi and Gold Nogi

Emily Ducharme - Gold in Gi and Gold Nogi

Greysen Tremblay - Gold in Gi and Gold Nogi

Valletta (Tina) Mackay - Gold in Gi and Silver Nogi

Cooper Schofer - Gold in Gi

Connar Schofer - Silver in Gi Bronze in Nogi

Connie Kryzanowski - Silver in Gi

Rachel Draxlir - Bronze in Gi

Eve Draxlir - Silver in Gi

Lydia Draxlir - Silver in Gi

Allia Chris Schofer - Silver in Gi

Matt Tremblay - Silver in Nogi

For more information about our Jiu-Jitsu club, visit

READ MORE: Creston students commemorate lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women on Red Dress Day

Kelsey Yates

About the Author: Kelsey Yates

Kelsey Yates has had a lifelong passion for newspapers and storytelling. Originally from Alberta, she graduated from SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program in 2016.
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