Point Blank head coach Tim Murphy has become the first Irishman to win a gold medal in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world championship. In a dramatic finale, Murphy was able to come from behind to submit his opponent by applying a choke with less than a minute left in the scheduled seven minute match. Prior to the finals, Murphy won the quarter final by decision and the semi final by an arm lock submission.
After winning the gold, Murphy had the following to say: “I knew I was up against it in the final. He was a tough competitor and had a lot of supporters cheering him on. I’m just glad I was able to seize the opportunity when it presented itself and get the submission. It was quite a surreal moment after I had won. It took a little time to sink in.”
Hundreds of jiu jitsu practitioners from as far away as Argentina, Japan and Europe compete in the annual event at different belt levels. The event took place this past weekend in Long Beach, California, near Los Angeles, and was hosted by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation. The vast majority of gold medalists come from Brazil and the US. On representing Ireland, Murphy said, “There was a small group of Irish competitors at the event. All of the guys are serious BJJ competitors but still we knew we were up against it, the standard in all the divisions is so high at this level. It was an honour for me to bring back a gold medal and do my part in helping to promote this fantastic sport in Ireland”.
Murphy was accompanied to LA by his coach and fellow competitor, Black Belt Fergal Quinlan of County Clare. Fergal commented, “Tim’s performance was outstanding, particularly in the final where he had to come from behind to win. Tim won a gold at the European Championship earlier in the year but there was a big step in the level at the Worlds and he rose to the occasion. The standard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Ireland is rising all the time and hopefully we will be bringing home a lot more international medals over the next few years”.
Point Blank offers classes in such disciplines as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA and wrestling. Team members range from hobbyists who train for fitness and self-defense to professional MMA competitors. Both men and women with ages ranging from teenagers to those in their 50’s count themselves as teammates. Point Blank has established a reputation for its friendly atmosphere and emphasis on training safely. According to Murphy, “We run dedicated beginners classes all year round. I would encourage anybody who wants to try out something new to come down and try one of our classes free of charge.”