2014 Hanami Gi-Challenge Results

James Saks

James Saks – Adult Purple Belt Ultimate Champion Pics by Deon Harris/Deon Harris Jr from Bestpic.co.za

VRYHEID – Sunday the 27th of April saw the first annual Hanami Challenge, hosted in Vryheid’s Indoor Speedball Club. The tournament, which showcased Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), drew participants from as far as Mauritius, and was according to the organisers an exemplary tournament.

The 2014 Hanami Gi-Challenge was attended by 38 BJJ practitioners from all over South Africa, including Mauritius. Divisions consisted out of white belt (under two years experience), blue belt (under 6 years experience) and purple belt (under 9 years experience) athletes. Each belt level in turn, is divided in different weight categories competing for gold and silver. Gold and silver medalist automatically qualified for the ultimate division, to determine the champion of champions within their belt level.

Abrie Kilian, CEO of Hanami Martial Arts Supplies and organiser for the Hanami Gi-Challenge was happy with the turnout of competitors, but even more so for the interest Vryheid has shown in this fast growing sport. “BJJ is a sport of physical debate. A muted battle of wits, where victory is determined by asking a series of questions, which goes unanswered, or answered through retaliated questions. It is an art of anatomical chess, ideally suited for those paradox personalities in our society that enjoy being challenged physically and intellectually.”

Dr Rochagne Kilian, Director of Media and Marketing states that all major role players added to the success of the tournament. “All competitors, officials, volunteers and friends and family contributed to the success of the tournament. We are excited to see the Challenge grow and contributing in expanding BJJ across Africa.”

“Our preparation for future Hanami Challenges, includes adding a Junior and Ladies division, with hopes of expanding BJJ’s image as a sport for the whole family.” Dr Kilian stated. “With the high levels of crime in South Africa, martial arts should be an obvious choice for self defence. In addition to self defence, it builds discipline, creativity and motivates a healthy life style.”

The organisers plan to make the Hanami Gi-Challenge an annual event on the Southern African BJJ circuit. Plans include expanding the tournament to include more competitors from all over Southern Africa and assisting in BJJ development in Africa and the Middle East.

The final results for the 2014 Hanami Gi-Challenge is as follows:

Adult White Belt Feather Weight Division
1. Norman Lekgothoane – East Rand BJJ (Benoni)
2. Mish Biscombe – SMA -( Johannesburg)
3. Kamal Amade – Infinity BJJ – (Johannesburg)
4. David Atkinson – Forza MMA – (Mauritius)
5. Charlotte Siegert – East Rand BJJ (Benoni)

Adult White Belt Light Weight Division
1. James Maher – East Rand BJJ (Benoni)
2. Jesse Stanley – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
3. Charl Beukes – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
4. Dirk van Rooyen – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)

Adult White Belt Middle Weight Division
1. Chris Venter – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
2. Sean Maher – East Rand BJJ (Benoni)
3. Karim Amade – Infinity BJJ (Johannesburg)
4. Tim Edwards – Gracie Barra (Glenhazel)
5. Eben de Jager – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
6. Stephan Nel – East Rand BJJ (Benoni)

Adult White Belt Feather Weight Division
1. Ryan Fitzgerald – Gracie Barra Glenhazel (Glenhazel)
2. Heinrich Matthee – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
3. Hamzah Abdulla – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
4. Eduardo Fernandes – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
5. Justin Gough – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)

Senior White Belt Open Division
1. David Atkinson – Forza MMA – (Mauritius)
2. Eduardo Fernandes – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
3. Eben de Jager – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)

Female White Belt Open Division
1. Charlotte Siegert – East Rand BJJ (Benoni)

Adult White Belt Ultimate Champion
1. Ryan Fitzgerad – Gacie Barra (Glenhazel)
2. Jesse Stanley – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
3. Chris Venter – Kilian Akademie (Vryheid)
4. Mish Biscombe – SMA (Johannesburg)

Adult Blue Belt Light Weight Division
1. James Gemmel – Gracie Barra (Glenhazel)
2. Ebrahim Naidoo – TapOut Academy (Johannesburg)

Adult Blue Belt Light Weight Division
1. Tiaan Gerber – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
2. Mpheng Morobe – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)

Adult Blue Belt Ultra Weight Division
1. Jason Lunderstedt – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
2. Yathin Sunker – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)

Adult Blue Belt Ultimate Champion
1. James Gemmel – Gracie Barra (Glenhazel)
2. Jason Lunderstedt – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
3. Tiaan Gerber – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
4. Yathin Sunker – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
5. Ebrahim Nadoo – TapOut Academy (Johannesburg)
6. Mpheng Morobe – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)

Adult Purple Belt Medium-Heavy Weight Division
1. Chris Clifton – TapOut Academy (Johannesburg)
2. Jean Calitz – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)

Adult Purple Belt Heavy Weight Division
1. James Saks – TapOut Academy/Fight Fit Militia (Johannesburg)
2. Zaakir Badat – Novagen BJJ (Durban)

Adult Purple Ultra Heavy Weight Division
1. Justin Ferreira – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)


Adult Purple Belt Ultimate Champion
1. James Saks – TapOut Academy/Fight Fit Militia (Johannesburg)
2. Zaakir Badat – Novagen BJJ (Durban)
3. Chris Clifton – TapOut Academy (Johannesburg)
4. Justin Ferreira – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)
5. Jean Caltiz – Fight Prime (Johannesburg)


Club Medal Standing
1. Gracie Barra (Glenhazel) – Gold 3
2. East Rand BJJ (Benoni) – Gold 2, Silver 1
3. Kilian Akademie (Vryheid) – Gold 1, Silver 2
4.=TapOut Academy (Johannesburg) – Gold 1
4.=Forza MMA (Mauritius) – Gold 1
5. Fight Prime (Johannesburg) – Silver 2
6.=Novagen (Durban) – Silver 1
6.=SMA (Johannesburg) – Silver 1

About Guy Lazarus

I am a South African Nak Mauy with a keen interest in MMA and combat sports in general. I run Mauyguy.com to give the world of fighting a South African Nak Muay's perspective. I have been competing in Martial Arts since the age of 7 with some success having come 3rd at IFMA World Championships and have my provincial colours for Judo. One day I will grow up and relinquish my dream of being world champion, but not yet...

2 thoughts on “2014 Hanami Gi-Challenge Results

Leave a Reply