By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Strength in numbers
Cortez Martial Arts has 31 placers in Gracie Invitational
MA--Cortez Martial Arts pic 2
Kristopher Hensley, from left, Samuel Avila and Marcus Datu each earned first-place medals in the Bay Area Jiu-Jitsu Championships on Nov. 23.

Cortez Martial Arts was well represented in two recent tournaments.

Last Saturday at Lathrop High, 31 students from the Manteca-based academy competed and placed in the 7th Annual Charles Gracie Invitational Tournament. Eleven of them came away with first-place medals, another 11 took third and nine were runners-up. Cortez Martial Arts also took third as a team in the School for the Tournament Series, finishing behind Reno Academy and Redding Academy.

Roosevelt Roberts and Carlos Diaz earned special honors to go with their medals. Roosevelt took first in his division and was awarded the Champion of Champions strap, which goes to the pound-for-pound best performer in each belt rank. Diaz ended up third but also garnered the belt for Most and Fastest Submissions in the Kids Tournament Series.

First-place winners include: Samuel Avila III, Marcus Datu, Michael Estrada, Javier Gomez, Joe Luna, Nick Luna, Colton Murillo, Jason Murillo and Elijah Watkins.

Placing second were: Daniel Bustillos, Saul Cruz, Aaron DeBrito, Isaac Estrella, Kristopher Hensley, Daniel Manzanares Jr., Roque Reyes, Jose Sandoval and Henry Verfurth.

Bronze medalists are: Aiden Byrum, Aysia Cortez, Cole DeVore, Caleb Dingle, Daniel Dolin, Steven Olmstead, Jesse Reyes, Nicholas Robison, Christian Sandoval, Jose Sandoval Jr. and Cassie Voss.

On Nov. 23, a trio of Cortez Martial Arts’ younger pupils took part in the Bay Area Jiu-Jitsu Championships at Alameda High School. Both Hensley and Avila III earned first-place finishes in the gi and no-gi events. Datu competed only in gi and won his division.