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Walking the corridors of Hereford Cathedral School are many of our talented sports, drama, music, science and arts pupils – but you’ll also find the new European Junior Champ in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

Our warm congratulations go to teenage ninja Liberty M in Year 10 for this incredible achievement. Liberty only took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in October 2016 and in her very first competition in September 2017 she won gold.

Liberty’s fantastic win at the Fight Like a Girl Brazilian Jiu Jistu Championships in Birmingham was against a girl from a heavier class and of a higher grade. She was presented with her gold medal by a legend in the sport, Master Mauricio Gomez (pictured above right, with Liberty), who holds a Black/Red Belt 7th degree.

Liberty’s father said: “We were all extremely proud of Liberty, especially so as it was her very first contest and she is completely ungraded in the sport.”

Liberty’s winning streak hasn’t stopped there. In the past few weeks she has scooped gold in the Cheltenham Open Junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships, fighting a girl with several years more experience and a 10lb weight advantage.

Cheltenham Gold Liberty Miles winner


And despite being extremely unwell with a viral infection, Liberty competed at the second largest Junior Jiu Jitsu Championships in the world – the European Junior Jiu Jitsu Championships in Wolverhampton – and won!


European Gold Liberty M


Liberty’s martial arts skills include strikes, arm-locks, leg-locks, chokes and body drops. She trains at The Combat Academy in Hereford and is coached by Kelly Hopkins under Black Belt Dave Coles – Liberty fights in the white belt category at the under-50kg limit. Her training partner is coach Kelly’s 14-year-old daughter Dali, the current World Youth and European Champion. Liberty credits Dali for inspiring her to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and for having achieved so much success.

We wish Liberty luck as she prepares to begin her New Year in 2018 training for the World Championships next July. She is also seeking sponsorship to compete in international competitions.

Very well done to our very own Junior Jiu Jitsu European Champ – an outstanding achievement and we’ll be watching her second year of competing in the sport very closely (but not too close, mind, as we may get in the way of one of her leg-locks!)