The rapid rise of ju-jitsu in Asia is noticeable by the wide variety of flags on display in the medal ceremonies. The Philippines are particularly happy with the growing profile of ju-jitsu, as Annie Ramirez won her second gold medal in the short history of the OCA’s Asian Beach Games at Bien Dong Park on Monday evening.
Two years ago in Phuket, Thailand, Annie took the women’s ne-waza (ground technique) -60kg title, but this time she competed at -55kg and was a comfortable 10-0 winner over Thailand’s Siramol Deepudsa in the final.
A large contingent of athletes and supporters from the Philippine Olympic Committee celebrated Annie’s victory – the second ju-jitsu gold medal for the team at Danang 2016, following Margarita Ochoa’s success at -45kg on Sunday. “I was aiming for gold when I came here, and this is my second time to win a gold medal at the Asian Beach Games,” said Annie, who is 25 and hails from Naga City in Bicol.
“There weren’t as many weight categories in Phuket two years ago so I competed at -60kg, but I feel I have defended my title.” A ju-jitsu student and teacher, Annie trains at the acclaimed Academia John Baylon – Clube de Ju-Jitsu Filipinas at Pasay City in Manila.
She switched to ju-jitsu from judo five years ago and her hard work in the gym – two hours training in the morning and three hours in the evening – is producing golden results for the Philippines, as well as for her mentor, Professor John Baylon.
With the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in September 2017, and the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia, in August 2018, Annie has plenty to fight for in the near future.