For James Mountford practising Brazilian jiu-jitsu provides him with an outlet to learn a new skill while escaping the demands of everyday life.
The Sowilo Community High student who is affectionately known as Jimmy has been practicing the sport for over a year, originally starting it as a bit of fun and way to get himself out of the house.
Jimmy said the sport has helped him in many ways both socially and mentally.
“When I am on the mats I am in my element, I don’t want to be anywhere else,” he said.
“Some of the moves will help me when it comes to self defence while others help me with my confidence.
“You just need to commit to the sport and be strong-minded and keep persevering with the sport.”
Jimmy recently competed in an in-house Legion 13 competition, a state Gi competition and the Perth Cup, returning home with gold medals for his outstanding efforts.
He now has his sights firmly on the Pan Pacific International Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Championship in Melbourne later this year.
“It is Australia’s biggest competition in the sport – there is often anywhere between 10 and 20 different countries competing,” he said.
“I am currently fundraising to get enough money for my airfare.”
Sowilo Community High coordinator and senior social worker David Marshall described Jimmy as quite the natural when it comes to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“He always listens and is a really good communicator as well,” he said.
“A lot of people have ego about winning and losing but Jimmy doesn’t really have that ego problem, he just accepts losing and accepts that he might have some stuff to learn to get better.”
To help Jimmy travel to Melbourne to compete in October call Sowilo Community High on 9390 1995.