On Air The Morning Show Chris Williams | 9:00am - Noon

Manx athlete crowned British Gi Champion

Mark Franklin storms British Open

Manx jiu-jitsu competitor and Gracie Barra coach, Mark Franklin, has been crowned British Gi Champion whilst taking part in the British Open this weekend.

A challenging weekend for a smaller contingent of Gracie Barra Isle of Man’s Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Competition Squad when the team took part in the British Open Gi Championships held at Warwick University. 

The tournament is recognised as the most prestigious Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Gi competition in the UK with winners given the accolade of ‘British Champion’.

In 2022, GBIOM managed to have one British Gi (wearing the kimono) Champion and three British Nogi Champions crowned which is a separate tournament held in December.

This is the first time that any of this particular Squad had taken part in the Gi version of the competition and as was expected the level was incredibly high and the matches hard fought.

The overall medal count was 

1 x Gold

3 x Silver

3 x Bronze 

Coach Mark Franklin took Gold in the light feather weight division after two successful matches which both ended in a submission finish. Known for his technical ability, especially in the guard position he submitted his opponents with armbars from guard early on in both matches. The matches were fantastic to watch and very entertaining with Mark dominating both with a calm and controlled demeanour. He became the British champion in Gi which he now adds to his British champion Nogi title which he gained last December.

Stuart Shimmin has had a very successful six months of competition culminating in this British Championship. He took part in the middleweight division and had three matches on the day. His first win came via a submission in the quarter final where he used a modified Ezekiel choke half way through the match to secure victory. He then came head to head with a tough opponent in the semi-final which saw the match go full time and Stuart win on points 10-5. Stuart gave everything he had left in the final against a high level opponent but unfortunately lost on points. He took him Silver in his first British Championship. 

Head Coach Conrad Roberts added “This is the most prestigious Championship in the UK and the first time any of this squad had competed in the Gi version of it. There were some very hard fought matches throughout the two day event which ultimately proved everyone deserved to be there. I am proud of all of them for stepping up to face the best in Britain."


More from Isle of Man Sport