Trevor Pennington, left, and Michael Byrne, right, square off against each other wearing the two gold medals they each won during a recent Jiu-Jitsu competition.

Team Yamasaki from the Mt. Kim Martial Arts studio in Culpeper recently participated in the Good Fights Thanksgiving Throwdown in Maryland, where they took home 16 medals.

Using rear naked chokes and kimuras, team member Michael Byrne, 12, won double gold in two advance kids division rounds while Trevor Pennington, 31, won the blue belt heavyweight adults division via triangle chokes.

Team Yamasaki finished second out of the 34 teams in the adult division and fifth out of the 20 teams in the kids division. Of the team’s 16 medals, six were gold and silver and four bronze.

Dennis Byrne, Team Yamasaki’s coach, explained this was the first tournament for many team members but they “cast aside the pre competition jitters and left it all on the mat.”

The team has about 40 members ranging between 6 and 40-years old and they all used the tournament as a learning experience.

“Everyone left with a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses and is ready to get back to the grind. This tournament was a great experience for kids and adults alike,” he said.

A video of Byrne’s match can be seen at

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