Mean Monkeys bring home plenty of awards

Published 2:02 pm Friday, August 13, 2021

The Mean Monkeys Jiu Jitsu Planet took home plenty of gold and 14-year old Victoria Keaton won a championship belt at the U.S. National Grappling Championship that was held on July 24 in Foley, Ala.

Keaton is undefeated.

This is Keaton’s third championship belt. She has won a title belt in Alabama, Louisiana and Florida.

“Tori mopped the mats with all her opponents then jumped up another weight class and age,” said Mean Monkeys Director Jesse Hodges. “Don’t let her timid demeanor and smile fool you! She’s dangerous.”

Maxine Barber, who is 8, won two gold medals. Barber has been training for just four months.

“This was her first time in competition and she completely destroyed opponents she was on the mat with,” Hodges said.

Blaze Hanson, who is 12, won a gold medal.

Hanson has been training for six months.

“He also defeated all his opponents by submissions, bringing home the gold,” Hodges said.

A submission is an instant victory.

Anthony Moody is 8  years old and has been training for more than two years.

Moody won a silver and a bronze.

“He smashed everyone in his path by submissions, but ended up losing to his own teammate,” Hodges said.

Keagan Payne, who is 8, won a silver and gold in NoGi and a silver in Gi. He lost to his own teammate.

“This kid is a monster on the mats,” Hodges said.

Yaseen Alhaj is 8 and has been training for two years.

This kid is a comp beast,” Hodges said. “He’s another up-and-comer from our academy you better watch out for! Seven victories in his last two tournaments.”

Caiden Payne is 14 and has been training for six months.

Hodges said that Payne also did a good job in his first competition.

“He was getting destroyed for the entire match and kept fighting, and the last 30 seconds, he landed a beautiful armbar that got him the victory and earned his first gold medal.

Caiden is another you’ve better watch out for,” Hodges said.

Austin Adams is 12 years old and has been training for five months.

“Austin is another kid we are super proud of having at our Academy. Austin did extremely well and placed second bringing him the silver medal,” Hodges said.

Shawn Pierce, who is 16 and has been training for two years, has six silver medals.

“This kid is slick on the mats he can and will slap on a submission from any position,” Hodges said.

Michael Pierce is 12 and has been training for two years.

He won a silver medal after coming in second.

“Michael is a super talented player in his age group. He’s another kid we are super stoked about having at our academy,” Hodges said.

Ahmed Alhaj is 10 and has been training for two years.

He was second and brought home all silver.

“Ahmed is another one we love having at our academy,” Hodges said.

Maxine Barber