Raby fighter wins gold at first tournament

Picture: Simon Bennett
Picture: Simon Bennett

As a lifelong rugby league player Nathan Waters never imagined he would also be a pan pacific jiu-jitsu champion.

Mr Waters only started training in the sport last year before deciding to enter the IBJJF Pan Pacific Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which was held last weekend.

This was his first competition.

“I didn’t realise how much of a big deal it was,” the Raby resident said.

“I am new to the sport so I was looking from the outside in.

“It was surreal I couldn’t believe I had actually won a competition – I didn’t know what to expect.”

Mr Waters said he trained for more than two hours each day in the lead up to the event.

“I train in Crows Nest so I spent almost 20 hours a week in the car as well,” he said.

“I think the sport just fell into my lap at the right time because the footy season had finished so I was able to really commit and focus on it.”

Mr Waters is the Western Suburbs Magpies Ron Massey Cup head coach.

He said jiu-jitsu had become a useful rugby league training tool.

“We use some of the wrestling techniques to teach players how to get up quickly or get the ball away,” Mr Waters said.

The avid sportsman said he enjoyed the difference between the two sports.

“There are a lot of technical skills that are similar in both,” Mr Waters said.

“I like that [jiu-jitsu] has so many movements, it’s as much a mind game as it is a physical one.

“Martial artists are are very humble compared to a lot of other sportspeople too.”

Mr Waters said jiu-jitsu was a great sport for people of all ages.

“We have a lot of families who train together,” he said.

“It’s a sport for life too, there are a lot of competitors in their 50s and 60s.

“I would 100 per cent recommend it.”