Local Joppatowne Teenager, Diedrick Smith, Wins Gold At The Junior Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship In California

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This past weekend Top Flight MMA teen standout, Diedrick Smith, traveled out to California to compete and win gold at the Junior BJJ Pan Ams.

Diedrick Smith (Top Flight MMA) on the 1st place podium at the Kids BJJ Pans

It felt really good to stand on the top of the podium and have the gold medal put around my neck.

With the Winter Olympics going on in Sochi, the whole world is taking notice of the magnificent feats athletes are doing as they represent their country in hopes of winning a gold medal. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not an Olympic game but it is a world renowned sport that is practiced in almost every country. The Gracie family has been most influential with the growth of this sport, especially in the United States. The biggest BJJ tournaments are now held in the US and competitors travel from all around the world for their chance at BJJ gold.

Until the Olympics includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the games, tournaments like the BJJ Pans and Mundials (Worlds) will continue to serve as the Olympics for BJJ practitioners around the globe. And just like the Olympics with their Junior Olympic games the Jiu-Jitsu Olympics has a BJJ Junior Olympics, which is the Junior BJJ Pans, and it was held this past weekend at Cal State University. Thousands of junior competitors from all over the county and world were in attendance.

Diedrick Smith a Joppatowne High School Honor Roll student and Team Captain for Competition Team at Top Flight MMA Academy, was one of the competitors this past weekend. What was planned to be somewhat of a vacation mixed in with the tournament turned into a stressful voyage. Because of the winter storm on the east coast, travel was suspended and re-routed for Smith and his family, leaving him, literally, hours to prepare and get settled for the biggest competition to date for him.

Despite the travel difficulties Smith did exceptionally well, submitting his way to a gold medal. In his championship match, Smith locked in a swift arm bar to solidify is his gold medal run.

Smith had this to say about winning the Junior BJJ Pan Championship Gold medal, "There were a lot of really good competitors so I was really pleased in my performance, and it felt really good to stand on the top of the podium and have the gold medal put around my neck. All the hard work paid off and now ready to get back to training so I can get better and win more gold medals."

Joey Stallings, the teen coach for Top Flight MMA Academy, had this to say about Smith's accomplishment, "I'm super proud of Diedrick, he has already been on a roll winning championships in all the local tournaments, so this is pretty huge because the Pans is the Olympics for jiu-jitsu, and Diedrick is a gold medalist. That's pretty cool and Diedrick definitely deserves it."

Its widely believed that the Junior Pan Champions go on to be future power houses of the sport and now that Smith has joined the ranks of junior gold medalist, eyes will definitely be on him in the years to come.

For more information on Diedrick Smith or the Top Flight MMA training programs, contact the school in Belcamp, Maryland at 410-272-3799, TFMMA.com.

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Brandon Smith
Top Flight MMA Academy
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