Three young submission wrestlers from a Rimbey fighting club recently won gold at the largest tournament in Alberta; the Mind, Body and Soul tournament in Edmonton.
Konred von Tiesenhausen has who been training with Gordon Nordquist for three years, started out in the coach’s garage. “I was actually looking for a place to do some kind of martial arts.”
At the tournament, other club mates had already won gold and von Tiesenhausen was feeling the pressure, however he wasn’t going to let those feelings hinder him. “I expected to do well and wasn’t nervous. I was just going to do what I had to do.”
When he won von Tiesenhausen was more grateful to Nordquist than anything else.
Von Tiesenhausen is hoping to get into professional mixed martial arts fighting. He also started wrestling in high school.
“I’m a very competitive person. I’m not an aggressive person but I like fighting.”
Von Tiesenhausen credits the club and his club mates to aiding his successes. “I think it’s a really great club. Gord’s doing a really great job keeping kids off the street.”
“In the end the only way you’re going to do well is with your teammates. They’re the people you train with, if you don’t have adequate people to train with . . .” he added.
This year’s biggest competition was Eckville’s fighters. Nordquist says the fighters there are strong. “They didn’t look good this year,” he said, explaining they seemed slower than previous years.
Von Tiesenhausen says aside from the competition his biggest challenge is finding balance between training and working. “Actually my boss is very understanding. He’s very happy and proud.”
The first time winner
The Mind, Body and Soul tournament is the first tournament Javier Seidel has ever attended for submission wrestling.
The 16-year-old has been training just over a year. “I was nervous but I wasn’t really doubting myself.”
Seidel is used to training against older and more experienced fighters so a first-time entry into his age and weight division wasn’t too much of a challenge. “I was expecting a lot more from the competition.”
Rather than the competition, Seidel names training as his biggest challenge. “The training’s always the hardest part. You’re training to expect the worst so you go through the worst.”
“We train borderline,” said Nordquist. “We’re punching each other but not killing each other.”
Seidel has been boxing for a few years and was looking to expand his skill and knowledge of martial arts. A previous article in the Rimbey Review led him to Nordquist.
“It’s a great sport. Anyone looking to even get in shape should join because it’s quite fun. The biggest opponent you have is yourself, you’re always trying to get better.”
The one to watch
Thirteen-year-old Dallas Herman was been training for almost two years and won his sixth gold medal at the Mind, Body and Soul tournament.
“I didn’t expect it to happen. I thought I would lose,” said Herman.
“He was sick as a dog,” said Nordquist. “The guys that stick it out are the tough guys.”
After his sixth win, Herman is getting used to it and isn’t as nervous, but the wonder is still there. “The feeling of nervousness, knowing you’re about to compete. You wonder whether you’re going to win or lose.”
This year Herman’s biggest challenge this year was a competitor much taller and approximately 10 pounds heavier. ‘I had to fight the Hulk,” he said with a laugh.
Herman had seen the sport on television and decided he wanted to try. He didn’t expect to stick around for two years because he thought he’d get bored. However, grappling is definitely not boring.