Out-of-Door Academy sixth-grader Dalton Kindt, 12, has already achieved black belt status in Korean taekwondo and has been studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the past six months. Dalton is a student at the BJJ Academy of Sarasota/Venice. In the past six months, Dalton has won a bronze medal at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Florida Championships as well as a silver medal at the COPA (Cup) America Tournament in Lakeland.
Why did you start Brazilian jiu-jitsu?
It’s a great bully-proof thing, and it is also a good sport. I just think it’s fun.
What belt are you and how hard is it to get belts?
I am only a one-stripe white belt, which doesn’t sound like much, but you have to go to the school for two years to get a yellow belt. My instructor is a second-degree black belt and he’s like 40-something and he learned from the Gracie family who started jiu-jitsu. It takes a very, very long time to get your belts.
How often do you practice?
I go to jiu-jitsu an hour a day Monday through Friday.
What is the hardest part for you?
Flexibility. I’m not very flexible, and you have to do a bunch of flips and stuff.
Your older brother, Jordan, goes to BJJ Academy as well? What’s that like?
There are a lot of advantages because you have back-ups if you miss a day or your brother can review moves with you. It’s very cool. We have an even older brother in Philadelphia who does jiu-jitsu, too.
What do you hope to accomplish one day?
I hope to go to the Pan-Am Championship in Brazil. It’s the biggest tournament for Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
What do your friends think of your sport?
Most of my friends do jiu-jitsu. Some of my friends don’t think of it as a sport and think of it as a karate school and think I should play football, but I’m sticking with jiu-jitsu.