Empowering the next generation

Oliver Konings and Pippa Corcoran Tamborine Mountain Lions Jiu Jitsu
Oliver Konings and Pippa Corcoran Tamborine Mountain Lions Jiu Jitsu

Photo gallery below. Photos by Katie O’Brien.

Hailing from Southern Brazil, Matheus Frustockl is warm-hearted with a beaming smile, but with a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu he carries himself with an inner strength.

Coach Matt, as he’s affectionately known, moved to the mountain a year ago and is looking forward to raising a family in the rural environment, similar to where he grew up.

In the meantime, he’s focused on empowering the next generation of mountain children with ambitions of having at least one win a national championship.

Brazilian Jujitsu is the most popular martial in the world right now and Tamborine Mountain Lions Jujistu Academy is inspiring local children to excel in the popular sport.

“I love being able to build a close connection with my students as a coach. It’s very important, that’s how I got hooked. My first judo instructor at six years old was like my best friend,” Matheus said.

“I started at the age of 17 and have been practicing for 15 years. I hold two national titles and one state title.”

Last year he began to put forward children for competitions with Luca Voulcaris, 11, winning a Queensland state championship and Finley Kennedy, 9, winning his first championship on the Gold Coast.

“I can see they have a real future in the sport and pretty sure they’ll be bringing more gold medals to the mountain, competing at a national level,” he said.

The academy has 50 members ranging in age from five to 60, with girls outnumbering boys.

It’s a sport of grappling and submission and Matheus believes it’s great for the kids because it was designed so that a smaller, weaker person can defend themselves or even defeat a larger, stronger opponent. There’s also no striking or kicking. Instead, it is based on holds, throws and submissions.

“It provides the kids with self-confidence and self-esteem, which translates in other parts of life,” he explained.

“Some kids won’t even talk when they arrive and with time I watch them flourish. When you know you have a skill to be able to defend yourself it carries through to other areas of life.

“Our classes are based around having fun and work on breathing techniques which also benefits children with autism and ADHD.”

He hopes to retain the students throughout their teenager years and channel their energy into training.

About Keer Moriarty 20 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.