Jiu Jitsu: Brainerd teen captures world championship

Almost a year ago, Noah Anderson joined Damian Hirtz at Alliance Gym and Brock Larson and Matt Taylor with the Performance Compound to further his Jiu Jitsu career.

Almost a year ago, Noah Anderson joined Damian Hirtz at Alliance Gym and Brock Larson and Matt Taylor with the Performance Compound to further his Jiu Jitsu career.

Anderson chose Alliance to train because they are highly acclaimed and are located all over the world. Larson has been involved in Anderson's Jiu Jitsu since Noah was a child.

When Anderson began training at Performance Compound, he found that many of the students there were wrestlers and were rolling in the art of No Gi. He had spent most of his Jiu Jitsu career training in Gi prior to this and to learn how to roll in No Gi was a new experience for him.

Anderson began training with "laser focus" for competing in the world championships in No Gi. Anderson trained five days a week for six months. He would go to Performance Compound Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, Larson, Anderson, and other students of Jiu Jitsu would train at Ultimate Martial Arts in Brainerd. Rob Nelson, owner of UMA, and Marc Hummel of UMA would allow Anderson to do private lessons at the academy as well as work with Larson while he was teaching. Anderson heads to Alliance in the Twin Cities to train on Thursdays.

After six months of training in No Gi Jiu Jitsu, Anderson headed to the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation World Championship Tournament in Long Beach, Calif., on Nov. 7. Luckily for his family, teammates, coaches, and fans back home, they were able to watch his matches via a live stream.


On the night of Nov. 7, Anderson became a world champion in No Gi Jiu Jitsu.

His motivation for winning the tournament was all the time he dedicated to training and to get his special cowboy boots up on the podium.
Being a strong Christian, Anderson was proud of his boots that have the Philippians verse 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ whom gives me strength," printed on them.

A teen from Minnesota has never won this competition before, and Anderson had to compete against the best in the world.

"Maturing and being able to train with all these different people (at the different gyms) has helped Noah be who he is now," Larson said. "If you are always training with the same people, you cannot better yourself. You will stay at the same skill level."

In September, Anderson and his mom took off on a road trip to Northern California so he could attend a Shoyoroll training seminar where he was able to train with some of the world's best black belts.

"I'm constantly trying to better myself, push myself, and I couldn't do that without training with everyone from everywhere," Noah said.

Anderson's sponsor, Doni Engel of Don Mega Team, said Anderson informed him that he was going to be the first Don Mega team member to win a World Title.

"Noah was so focused. He controlled all of his matches," Engel said.


Anderson won his first match at the worlds via an armlock and his second via points.

"There was a point in my life where I didn't think this was possible, where I was told this was impossible, and sadly I believed it but because of decisions I made to take control of my Jiu Jitsu and elevate my training to the next level," Noah said. "I've heard to be the best, you've got to train with the best and this is true. Jiu Jitsu is my life.

"I would like to thank my Professors Damian Hirtz and Brock Larson and teammates/training partners at Alliance Jiu-Jitsu MN and The Performance Compound for helping me prepare.

"Thank you to all of my sponsors for believing in me. I better not forget to mention my biggest supporters - my mom and my sister. A special shout out to Doni Engel. You are my brother. Thank you so much for standing behind me and believing in me."

At the age of 16, Anderson is a two-time national champion and a world champion. He still hopes to be sponsored by Shoyoroll, the only Gi and NoGi apparel that he wears. He believes in the branding and the foundations that the company built itself on.

"Shoyoroll is the best," Noah said.

Noah's coach and friend Damian Hirtz said, "Noah has set a good example for the kids his age. I want others to know they can accomplish what he has. It is rare, but not impossible. If you make the right decisions and train with the right people, the sky's the limit."

Now that Anderson has become a world champion, he has no intention of slowing down his training. Alliance has offered him a position training youths ages 6-12.


"Because he is so mature despite being only 16, we couldn't think of a better role model for these kids, not only athletically but overall," Hirtz said. "Noah is always making the right decisions."

Anderson has two tournaments coming up. He will be competing in San Antonio Dec. 6 and in Irvine, Calif., Dec. 13.

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