ERIN – Grade 9 student Noah DiNola will be representing Canada at the Jiu Jitsu World Championships in Kazakhstan this summer.
DiNola won gold in his division at the Canadian Nationals Jiu Jitsu tournament in Scarborough on April 1, qualifying him for the Canadian National Jiu Jitsu Team.
“I’m pretty proud of it,” said the Erin District High School student.
“It’s gonna be pretty stressful but I think I can do it.”
His division is yellow belt, under 100 pounds, and under 16.
Jiu jitsu is both an art and a dance, DiNola said, and “if you perfect a technique you can really dominate matches,” regardless of your size.
For example DiNola said one of his instructors, Brad Varsava, is “not the heaviest in the gym, but knows a bunch of techniques so he can beat up basically anybody in the dojo.
“You just have to understand it, and know the techniques, and get it down to the T.”
He also looks up to his head instructor Andrew McColl “in technique and how he fights,” adding McColl “is a very great mentor” and “an inspiration for me.”
Representing Canada is “a pretty big accomplishment,” DiNola noted, and he has “been training pretty hard to get it.”
He trains for an hour and a half, six days a week, at Brampton Jiu Jitsu, Georgetown Jiu Jitsu and Blaze Performance Training in Orangeville.
DiNola started practicing jiu jitsu when he was four, progressing to a yellow belt last year.
“That was a giant step up,” he said, making tournaments even more challenging.
DiNola said his mom, dad, and brother will be coming with him to Kazakhstan for the championships in August, as well as “ten kids and 15 adults” who will come along to show support.
In total there will be 20 competitors there representing Canada.
DiNola said he is looking for sponsors for the trip, noting his “goal is to have $10,000 so I can get to Kazakhstan and pay for all of the expenses.”
DiNola’s parents, Janan and Rick, said they are “so proud” of him, as “not only has he managed to compete on such a high level, but he managed to do this with going to school full-time and producing amazing grades.”
In an email to the Advertiser they added, “He is so dedicated to his martial arts.
“As parents, all we can do is support him in being the best version of himself.
“We watch him day in and day out, pouring sweat and tears into being the best of the best and he does it with such resilience and grace.
“We are truly inspired by him.”
Anyone who wants to help sponsor DiNola’s trip to Kazakhstan for the Jiu Jitsu World Championships can email firstname.lastname@example.org or donate via his GoFundMe page.