Taking the cake on his birthday

Nothing was going to hold back an Army artillery officer from dominating at a Brazilian jujitsu (BJJ) tournament in Melbourne on his 26th birthday, on May 21.

CAPTION: Australian Army officer Captain Dylan Voncina on the podium during the Grappling Industries Brazilian jujitsu gi and nogi round robin tournament in Melbourne. Story by Sergeant Matthew Bickerton.

Captain Dylan Voncina won all three of his divisions, striking his toughest match in the final of the open weight division.

Tied on points, it went down to the wire, with the referee ultimately awarding Captain Voncina a win.

“My opponent was quick and had great heart,” Captain Voncina said.

In an under-104kg division match, he found himself in a straight armbar that almost broke his arm.

“My arm bent back not quite 45 degrees, but it was something nasty. It was bloody sore when I came off,” he said.

He reversed the situation and won 10-0.

Captain Voncina started BJJ two years ago after already acquiring black belts in judo and Japanese jujitsu, a martial arts journey he started at the age of eight.

“Some skills transferred, but not as much as you’d think,” he said.

“You have to unlearn lots of habits that don’t fit well within the BJJ framework.”

Because of his judo experience, Captain Voncina started BJJ with a blue belt, his current rank.

He always aims at using his judo by throwing opponents and getting on top.

“I’ll then work to expose a weakness and attack that, whether it’s an arm or neck or leg, or anything else I can exploit,” Captain Voncina said.

He trained hard at getting off his back when pinned and solidifying his top game.

Captain Voncina is a registered athlete with the ADF Combat Sports Association (ADFCSA).

The ADFCSA supports participants in BJJ, judo, wrestling, tae kwon do, Japanese jujitsu, Muay Thai and karate by financially assisting athletes’ competition fees as well as travel expenses for its Elite Sports Person-recognised athletes.


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