In photos: Judo and jiu-jitsu champions help charity

This weekend, 50 fighters faced off at the Brickhouse Gym in Winnipeg. Proceeds from the event were donated to The Dream Factory, which helps sick children in Manitoba. Thanks to the donations, Eli Ducak, a child with a hereditary disease causing hyperflexibility of the joints, will be able to fulfill his dream of going to the PortAventura World amusement park in Spain.

Fight for the good cause

The organizer of the event, Michael Santarsieri, recalled the charitable purpose of the event.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

Michael Santarsieri, organizer and manager of the Brickhouse Gym, where the event was taking place, recalled the charitable purpose of the competition. The profits from the 400 entrance tickets and the food sold on site were donated to the organization The Dream Factory.

warming up

Darrius Joof is in a room to warm up.

Darrius Joof warming up.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

Before each fight, the athletes warm up with quick movements. It’s also a time to focus on the fight ahead.

Game of looks

Darrius Joof in a corner of the ring.

Darrius Joof concentrates in the ring before the fight.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

Usually, jiu-jitsu fights take place on a specific type of mattress, called tatami, on the ground. To add to the spectacle, the organizers have installed a boxing ring in the center of the Brickhouse Gym. Each fighter enters the scene on a music of his choice. Before the start of the fights, everyone goes to a corner of the ring. A staring game then begins to destabilize the opponent.

Sarah Migie in a corner of the ring.

Sarah Migie is one of the only women in the competition.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

400 spectators

Three attentive spectators.

Spectators pay attention.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

With each fall, the tremor of the ring makes the whole public react. The 400 spectators were able to watch 21 fights during the evening. As the gestures can be executed very quickly, it is impossible to take your eyes off the athletes at the risk of missing key moments.


Sarah Migie attempts a chokehold on Bailey Harper.

Sarah Migie (below) attempts a chokehold on Bailey Harper (above).

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

Ryan Rajczakowski and Donny Thivierge's legs are tangled.

Ryan Rajczakowski is on the ground against Donny Thivierge.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

Chokes, arm and leg locks and sweat. Each 6-minute fight can end if one of the fighters is forced to give up. At the end of regulation time, the referee chooses a winner.

A sign shows that there are 2 minutes and 33 seconds left in the fight between Ryan Rajczakowski and Donny Thivierge.

Donny Thivierge dominates his opponent. Half of the fight time, which lasts six minutes in total, is exceeded.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

Watched by the referee

Ryan Rajczakowski and Donny Thivierge are at ringside.

The referee intervenes in the fight between Ryan Rajczakowski and Donny Thivierge.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

The referee can intervene if the fighters get too close to ringside. The fight is stopped, and the two adversaries are replaced, in the same position, in the center of the fighting surface.


Rebecca Villa brings down Sarah Ekosky.

Rebecca Villa (in blue) chained the Uchi mata (hip technique) against Sarah Ekosky, in a demonstration judo fight.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

A demonstration judo match was also presented to the spectators. The two opponents chained spectacular takes during the only judo performance of the evening.

The rest of the warrior

A fighter lies between weight machines.

Some fighters rest before their fight.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Victor Lhoest

The event lasted more than 4 hours. Some participants were present long before the doors opened to prepare for the fighting and help organize the activities.



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