Convoy native TJ McMenamin, won gold at the British National IBJJF Championships, held at the Crystal Palace sports arena in London, on the 25th June , last weekend. He secured gold in the Masters blue belt category, at the Heavyweight division, and also secured a Bronze medal later in the evening, in the open weight category, (where all podium finishers, can compete against all other weight categories,) where he went out, on points in the semi final’s to the overall eventual winner.
TJ also took part in the British National IBJJF Championships No-Gi – competition, the following day on the 26th June, but unfortunately, went out in the Semi-finals stage, by a Refs decision, when no points were scored by the end of the match. Again his opponent , whom was over 14 years younger than TJ, went on to take gold, in the final.
In all, TJ took one gold, and two bronze medals home to Donegal, from this prestigious national championships. McMenamin is also a reigning European double IBJJF No-Gi gold medallist, which he won earlier in April this year, in Rome . TJ's young , sons have also recently this year secured Irish National titles in BJJ. McMenamin is a self employed Architect called, MCM Associates, which is based in Raphoe, & he trains out of the Rilion Gracie BJJ Academy , the county's only full time Martial Arts gym, which is based in Old Town Letterkenny, which is run by Ramelton native, Brian “Barney” Coyle, whom himself is a Euro & Worlds Masters medallist. Rilion Gracie Ireland BJJ, is one of the most competitive & successful, BJJ clubs in the NorthWest, and has fighters regularly take part in National, European, and World championships, year round, and all over the world.
Other Donegal Rilion Gracie club competitors, Bryan Gorman from Donegal Town, also secured a Silver medal in the Masters brown belt category, at medium heavy weight. Declan Bushell also from Donegal Town, and Carrigart native Paddy McBride also secured two Bronze medals in their respective categories.