Surfer trains jiu-jitsu youngsters

JOHN Shimooka once rode the waves on his surfboard all around the globe on the world professional tour.

Today, Shimooka, now 45, who's lived at Kirrawee for many years, is mentoring youngsters in a different sport — Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Shimooka said he competed against many of the very best in his time as a professional surfer.

"I competed on the world tour from 1988 to 1999," he said

. "My best ranking I got to was No.18."

He said a lot of surfers use Brazilian jiu-jitsu for their physical training. "I used martial arts for my training when I competed in surfing."

But those waves have rolled into history and he said now he's only worried about the present and the future.

"I hope to set up a Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy in the Sutherland Shire soon."

He said he's looking for a suitable venue.

He runs one now but outside the area.

The Hawaiian-born man together with a few business partners run the Sydney Cup BJJ academy.

The annual championship rounds are held at various locations throughout the metropolitan area.

"And we hold all our events in the shire at Sutherland Basketball Stadium."

The most recent was on September 19 at Sutherland Basketball Stadium. The next big Sydney Cup BJJ is on Saturday, October 31, at Sutherland.

"Sutherland Basketball Stadium is a great venue where we hold competitions," Shimooka said. "The four winners of different belt competitions will then head to the world championships next year in Los Angeles."

He said there were many talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes in the region.