ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The Naval Station Rota Jiu-Jitsu team will send six members to participate in the London Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament Nov. 5 at the Battersea Youth Centre in London, competing for medals and worldwide recognition.
The six competitors represent Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station (NCTAMS), the Navy Exchange, U.S. Naval Station Rota, the Supply Department, Marine Corps Security Force Company (MCSFCo) Europe and MCSFCo Europe Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) Platoon.
"All the people I'm bringing to this tournament are very qualified," said Vincent Carlucci, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) instructor for both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling, "and I anticipate bringing back a lot of medals."
According to Carlucci, area commands have supported the team and its members in their efforts to attend such tournaments.
"Initially, the team members took leave, showing their commitment to the team. Now the commands understand the level of competition the team members are attending, and every command has signed permissive Temporary Assigned Duty (TAD) orders for their competitors," he said. "That's a huge plus."
Commands may also be noticing, according to Carlucci, the improved Physical Readiness Test (PRT) scores and weight standards of each team member. "Over the last six months, I'd say the average weight loss of our students has been 10 to 15 pounds, just from coming to class," he said. "We do a lot of cardiovascular [activity], a lot more than what they would receive during any normal Physical Training (PT) program the base gives."
For those interested in learning jiu-jitsu, classes are free and available Tuesdays through Thursdays at the Fitness Center from 7:30 - 9 p.m. for everybody age 17 and up.
"Anybody is welcome at any level, from beginners all the way to the most advanced people," Carlucci said. "Every Tuesday and Thursday we have class, and Wednesdays you can come in and work on whatever you'd like with all of us. Those who are new to the sport should go to the regular class first," he said.
Should wary competitors decide they'd rather see a demonstration before they partake in the action, there is just such an opportunity coming up soon.
"We've been invited to participate in a Martial Arts Festival to take place in Rota within the first two weeks of December," Carlucci said. "The demonstrations are going to be put on by some of the best martial artists throughout Europe."
Carlucci encourages everyone to join the group. "Jiu-Jitsu is fun, and it has nothing to do with how strong you are, how fast you are or how much balance you have," he said. "If you were never good at any sport your entire life, come try Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is a sport where the techniques can be adjusted based on your natural abilities, so anybody can succeed at it," he said.
For related news, visit the Naval Station Rota, Spain Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/rota/.