Paly students podium in jiu-jitsu championship

Josh Yuen, Author

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Freshman Ethan Rose prepares for his match with instructor Benji Silva. Photo courtesy of Stacey Woods.

Freshman Ethan Rose prepares for his match with instructor Benji Silva. Rose has been training with Silva for a little more than a year at Form Fitness. Photo courtesy of Stacey Woods.

Three Palo Alto High School students placed within the top three finishers during their jiu-jitsu events this past weekend at the Bay Area Jiu-Jitsu Championships at Encinal High School in Alameda.

Freshman Ethan Rose, junior Max Strul and junior Nick Olgado all received medals for their performances, with Rose winning first place in the No Gi event for his weight group. Strul and Olgado finished their weight group events in second and third place, respectively.

All three competitors are involved in Form Fitness’s after-school Jiu-Jitsu program and have been practicing their skills in both jiu-jitsu and kickboxing for a little over a year with professional fighter Benji Silva, according to Form Fitness manager Stacey Woods.

“I am very impressed with their [the students’] discipline and skill development in this unconventional sport,” Woods said in an email to The Paly Voice.

Olgado credits coach Silva’s commitment and the support of Form Fitness as the biggest reasons why all of three students were so successful in the tournament.

“We’ve been preparing for the competition for a long time at Form, and our teacher, Benji Silva, is a great teacher,” Olgado said. “He’s pushed us at every class, both mentally and physically. Without a local gym like Form, I don’t think I would have gotten into jiu-jitsu or kickboxing in the first place.”

Additionally, Olgado encourages any students who are interested in the sport to begin taking classes at Form Fitness.

“I’d recommend anybody to come and try out classes there,” Olgado said.

Form Fitness is located just a few blocks away from Paly, at 445 Bryant St.