Saipan Southern High School’s Jesus Attao struck gold in the 2015 Copa De Marianas BJJ Gi & No Gi Tournament held last Saturday at the Father Duenas Phoenix Center in Guam.
Attao topped the Gi division (white belt) in the 161-175-lbs weight class after registering a 2-0 record in his category.
In an interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday, Attao said both of his opponents were from Guam and he earned his first victory via key lock arm submission on side control in the second minute of the five-minute bout. For his second win and the battle for the gold medal, it was decided by points.
“We ended up tied after the round at 2-2, but I had a 2-0 advantage on points so I won,” Attao said. “My opponents were tough so I have to remind myself to be aggressive always and be on top.”
The 16-year-old Attao also joined the No Ji contest in the same weight class and missed the podium finish by just one notch. He won his first match, but dropped the last two, including the battle for the bronze.
“Overall, I am happy with the way I performed in my second tournament in Guam,” said Attao, who joined the similar tournament, which was then known as Marianas Open, two years ago.
Attao first competed in the teen division of the Guam tournament before moving up to the adult category last weekend. Up next for the young BJJ practitioner is Trench Tech’s Art of War later this year.
Meanwhile, besides Attao, three other CNMI bets participated in the Copa De Marianas. Attao was joined by his brother Lorenzo, Ty Deleon Guerrero, and Hyun Woo Jo. They managed to compete in the weekend tournament despite failing to organize a fundraiser due to Typhoon Soudelor after getting help from Best Sunshine International, Ltd. and Imperial Pacific International chief services officer Tao Xing.
The Attaos and their two other teammates represented RONINZ, which the siblings founded after their former group—the Gracie Barra Gym (CNMI) of Sempi Peter and Francis Mendiola—closed down due to funding problems. The Attao brothers are allowed to establish and operate RONINZ after Lorenzo got his blue belt promotion. The siblings will hold free BJJ lessons for a couple of hours every week for children that are at risk of delinquency.