On Saturday, October 15th (2022), the 2022 AJP Tour Canada National Pro was hosted at the Niagara Convention Centre. This prestigious Championship drew competitors from across the globe, with 13 athletes from Kilian Academy representing Grey-Bruce at this year’s National Pro, bringing home 10 medals, including four gold.
Kilian Academy’s top Jiu-jitsu athlete and Port Elgin resident, Nick Mole, solidified his dominance this year, by taking gold at the National Pro in the welterweight division. Unbeaten in 2021/2022, the Double Ontario Champion has gone forth and added the prestigious Canada National Pro title to his list of accomplishments, solidifying him as the best Master 1 white belt in Canada. “I have been fortunate to face some amazing athletes during this year. However, I am even more grateful for my team, coach and academy on whose shoulders I am able to stand.“ Mole is ranked 1st in Canada, 2nd in North America and 53rd overall in the world on the master 1 white belt AJP rankings. (Nick Mole will be awarded his Blue Belt on November 5, 2022.)
The high-performance twins and 2021 Canada National Champions, Sean and Alec Wildeboer, were paired in a combined light feather and featherweight division at The National Pro. The road to the finals led to an all-out Wildeboer brawl, with Alec able to secure the win against twin brother Sean. “It is unfortunate that both brothers had to face each other in the finals, however, on the day there can only be one champion,” lamented Abrie Kilian, Program Director at Kilian Academy. Winning the Canada Nationals secured Alec’s top position in Canada and ranked him in 4th place in North America overall on the blue belt amateur AJP rankings. Sean’s silver placed him in 8th place on the Canadian rankings and 23rd in North America.
The 13-year-old Harvest Canadian Reformed Christian School student Derrick Scheper, made his debut in competitive Jiu-jitsu at the Canada National Pro and was awarded gold in the light heavyweight division for boys. “Derrick is a product of our youth program and dominated at The National Pro. Similar to his training partner, Ethan Guichelaar, Derrick has an amazing future ahead of himself. Derrick executed his game plan perfectly and is now one of our latest Canada National Pro Champions.” stated Kilian.
Making his return to the AJP Tour, after an absence of 10 years Abrie Kilian, was unfortunately disqualified in the middleweight finals for applying a heel hook; an illegal technique in the purple belt division. Kilian was awarded silver in the middleweight division. However, the IBJJF Toronto Champion was not done competing and went forth to compete in the open division, a division for all medalists irrespective of weight. Kilian was able to vindicate his earlier mistake and took gold and was crowned open-weight Heavyweight Canada National Champion, also known as Champion of Champions. “I was deeply disappointed in my performance in the middleweight division. We worked hard to compete at The National Pro and could not walk away without securing our team’s fourth gold. I owed it to our academy and to the Grey-Bruce Community as a whole,” said Kilian.
St. Mary’s student and 2022 Ontario Champion, Ethan Guichelaar, secured silver in his debut at The National Pro, losing marginally to his American opponent in the finals. “I am extremely happy with my performance and securing silver has only fuelled my tenacity to take gold at the National Pro next year. I am grateful to our academy, team and community for the support,” said Guichelaar.
The intrepid 47-year-old Owen Sounder, Michael Butt, dominated the welterweight semi-finals with a monstrous 24-0 win over his opponent. In the finals, Butt lost marginally by points to secure a silver medal at this year’s Canada National Pro in the masters 2 division. Michael Butt added: “The last two years have been a life-changing experience for me. I am not naturally inclined towards sport but engaging in competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a 40-year-old, has been an amazing adventure of self-discovery, fermenting my zest for life.”
The 32-year-old Toronto firefighter and Chesley resident Michael Andrews, took bronze in his debut at The National Pro, in a tough lightweight division. Andrews’s performance has secured him 8th place on the amateur white belt AJP Canadian rankings and 29th overall in North America.
Making his debut at The National Pro, Adam Smart, took home bronze in the amateur light-heavy division. Smart’s performance has placed him in 13th place on the Canada rankings and 42nd in North America on the blue belt amateur AJP rankings.
Curran Dixon, was able to improve from last year’s performance by moving up from 9th place to 4th at The National Pro in the white belt welterweight division. Dixon’s performance at The National Pro has ranked him 13th in Canada and 67th overall in North America in the white belt amateur AJP rankings.
Officer Brad Robertson, from the Owen Sound Police, made his debut at the National Pro and placed 5th in the master 2 blue belt welterweight division. The 49-year-old Robertson is ranked 7th in Canada and 25th overall in North America in the blue belt Master 2 AJP rankings.
Owen Sound resident, Mike McGahan made his debut at The National Pro and secured 5th place. McGahan is now ranked 16th in Canada and 76th overall in North America on the amateur white belt AJP Canadian rankings.
Kilian Academy’s athlete performance contributed to the Academy securing 5th place at this year’s AJP Tour Canada National Pro, improving from last year’s 19th place The Academy is now ranked 51st in North America overall, based upon AJP Academy rankings. “There is a lot of hard work that goes into competing. Managing athletes and the team takes time and lots of preparation. We were able to beat some of the most well-established clubs in Canada and looking forward to doing so again next year. We have an amazing team of athletes and hope to see Grey-Bruce County secure itself as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hub north of Toronto, ready to take on the rest of Canada and the Globe,” said Kilian.
Kilian Academy brought home 4 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 2 bronze medals from this year’s 2022 AJP Tour Canada National Pro. The Academy is now home to four Canadian Champions and five Ontario Champions.