Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Robinson a jiu jitsu champion

Nicholas Robinson has jiu jitsu in his blood.

LUKE MCMANUS August 30, 2014 3:04am

Nick Robinson (left) with teacher Tum Sityodtong.

Jiu Jitsu fighter Nicholas Robinson always dodged the competitive arena.

Sparring with teammates at Wickham’s Martial Arts was what really mattered, until head coach Thiago Stefanutti gave the then 20-year-old an encouraging nudge ahead of the 2013 Pan Pacific Championships.

Robinson, who fights in the 97kg super heavyweight division, overcame pre-fight jitters to claim two gold medals in an impressive debut tournament.

Since then, the star fighter has upgraded from white to blue belt, claimed 10 medals across four competitions and uncovered an inner hunger for competition.

Gold and silver medals at the Australian Cup earlier this month proceeded success at the South Australian, Victorian and Tasmanian championships.

Sights are now set on October’s Pan Pacs with four fights marked, including the 97kg title Gi and no-Gi title defences plus the highly competitive open division.

‘‘I don’t know what it is about competing, but now I’m hooked,’’ Robinson said.

‘‘I’m addicted now, it has definitely helped with my overall game and I’ve improved a lot.

‘‘Because I was thrown into the deep end I was nervous, but now I just work myself into a fever pitch and am excited.’’

Asked where the rapid development has come from, Robinson pointed to gym owner Matt Wickham who the apprentice has trained with for six years.

‘‘Having a good coach is a good start,’’ Robinson said.

‘‘Competition is twice as hard than training, there’s more pressure and the intensity is really high.

‘‘The body sometimes works faster than the brain, so having someone on the sidelines helps clear the head and brings you back to normal function.

‘‘That’s when team members come in handy as well.’’

Robinson, who took to martial arts because of some schoolyard bullying, also loves the camaraderie and ‘‘mutual respect’’ found within the sport.

‘‘People recognise the badge on your Gi (fighting uniform) and are always keen to help you with anything,’’ he said, referring to the gym’s Maromba Academy association.

‘‘There’s no animosity, even with opponents... everyone wants others to enjoy the thrill of competing.’’

Seven fighters from Wickham’s Martial Arts will travel to Melbourne for the October 10 to 12 event, joining more than 1000 fighters at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

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