PHILIPSBURG:--- Saint Maarten Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF) proudly presented its first annual spring competition on Saturday, May 20th at MPC Gym in St. Peters. SMMAF is a new sports foundation founded by Marco London with the objective of unifying combat martial arts on St. Maarten. The event was unique in that two very different combat martial art forms were on display- Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Competitors ages 4-22 years hailed from Marco London's Sityodtong Foundation, SXM BJJ/Renzo Gracie St. Maarten’s Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Teams, French St. Martin’s Caribbean Federation of Shidokan (Christian Pujol), Saint Barths Jiu Jitsu and Team Exodus.
SMMAF would like to thank the management of MPC for allowing the use of the gymnasium, as well as Mr. Aartwicht Bell. The specialized mats competitions were generously provided by Mr. Bell (President of the Sports Federation and National Judo Association). SMMAF is especially grateful, without MPC management and Mr. Bell’s cooperation the event could not have taken place. Wesley Hendriks of Windward Roads was the official referee of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches.
St Barths Jiu Jitsu coach Nicolas Harmage traveled to St Maarten with three students to compete: Floriane Aubin, Malon Ballerin, and Clement Georges. SXM BJJ/Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu athletes included: Vlad Ahlip, Arhan Baharani, Amir Baharani, Britt Drent, Julia Hinckfoot, Gia Parisot, Jaiden Somersall, Sona' Sonakshee Sidhwa, Christian van der Horst., Ziro Degrammand, Natalya Munoz, Isiah Arrindell-Peterson, Amaziah Barze Richardson, Miles Cheasley, Jet Fleming, Andrea McQuilkin, Amani Michel, Mathew Stickells, Aiden Wilkie, Megan Whyte, Arman Yilmaz, Tristan Ahlip, Naomi Benjamin, Jayden Brooks, Renard Brison, Lukas Hassell, Keziah Hoeve, Jaheem O'Connor, Kevin Robens Bernard, Connor Scripps Ewing, Shaquamie Vanterpool, Annie Urdaneta, Angie Urdaneta, Sarai Willemberg, Ela Yilmaz, Aarda Yilmaz. Two multi-talented SXM BJJ athletes competed in both martial arts disciplines: Jaden Busby and Lucas Bardfield.
Muay Thai competitors included students of Akeem Lewis: Geraldo Schaede, Nicolas Schaede, Molly Slater, Yndys Gourdet, Vincent Legger, Jaali Galvani, Diandra Peterson, Gabriel Richardson. Students of Marco London: Tino Chung, Dillon Peterson, Sebastian Daniel, Malcolm Arrindell, Malique Niles, Muaaz Ibrahim, Gwen vd Geer, Michelle London, Ariel Goberdhan, Sylvinienna Hooi, Hosea Rogers and Andre Goberdhan. Students of Caribbean Federation of Shidokan led by Christian Pujol included Alizé PLANQUES, Yann POISOT, Mahonie CAUSSIN, Noaa SAINT LÉGER, Alexandre MARCHI, Vadim MALISEV, Rayan LANGEVIN, Chad WALTER, Stella PALMER, Jahia VILAR and Tylian VILAR.
After the children’s matches finished, two adult no-gi (without the kimono) matches were held between SXM BJJ’s Avish Wijesiriwardana (16) and Team Exodus Jay Thakurdin (18) and a heavyweight match between Pavle Marinkovic versus Team Exodus’s Nick Welch. Avish was victorious with a ‘mata leao or rear naked choke’ submission and Pavle won a very close and exiting match via points.
SMMAF board was very pleased with the turnout and especially proud of the good sportsmanship displayed by each and every athlete. The level of technique was very high and bodes well for the future of martial arts in our small but talented Caribbean region.