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  • Writer's pictureAbrie Kilian

2023 ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL OPEN

Updated: May 13, 2023


Ontario champion, Maddy Potter navigating her opponent's guard.
Ontario champion, Maddie Potter navigating her opponent's guard.

Oshawa – Saturday and Sunday (May 6 and 7, 2023) saw the largest tournament on the Canadian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Circuit being hosted at the Tribute Communities Centre, home of the Oshawa General. More than 2000 athletes descended upon Oshawa to compete at this year's 2023 Ontario International Open, arguably one of the toughest BJJ tournaments in Canada. Twelve athletes representing Kilian Academy and Grey-Bruce County competed at this year's Open.


Youth Athletes

Twelve-year-old Maddie Potter, a Hepworth Central Public School student in Hepworth, was crowned Ontario Open Champion in the girls twelve to thirteen-year-old white belt 142 lbs division. “Maddie is another one of our exceptional female athletes coming through our development program with amazing prospects at competitive jiu-jitsu”, stated Abrie Kilian, program director at Kilian Academy. Maddie made her debut at the Open and had to face teammate and friend, Melanie Woodroffe to secure gold. “It is always hard as a coach to witness Academy athletes compete against each other at tournaments, however, there are valuable life lessons to be learned from jiu-jitsu.”


Maddy Potter crowned 2023 Ontario International Open Champion.
Maddie Potter crowned 2023 Ontario International Open Champion.

Also making her debut at the Open, Nine-year-old Kiley McGahan, a student at Alexandra Community School in Owen Sound, was also crowned Ontario Open Champion in the girls’ eight to nine-year-old white belt 91,5 lbs division. “BJJ is the perfect sport for Kiley. Kiley embodies the combination of strategic thinking and physicality required for an athlete to succeed at BJJ. I was amazed at the depth of her aggression at the Open and knew she has what it takes to be a Champion”, stated Mike McGahan, father of Kiley. Kiley’s gold medal follows her father’s gold at the 2023 Grappling Industries, held in Toronto earlier this year.


Kiley McGahan crowned 2023 Ontario International Open Champion.
Kiley McGahan crowned 2023 Ontario International Open Champion.

Twelve-year-old Hunter Ward from Southampton, blasted through Group A with a flawless performance to earn himself a spot in the finals in the boy’s twelve to thirteen-year-old white belt 87,5 lbs division. The Canadian Champion lost by two points in a nail-biting final. “Hunter’s final is what defines the art of BJJ and shapes both athletes into future ambassadors of the sport. Both Hunter and his opponent showcased pure grit that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The skill of these athletes at their age is surprisingly impressive”, added Kilian.


Canadian Champion, Hunter Ward in action during the finals.
Canadian Champion, Hunter Ward in action during the finals.

Fresh from her silver at the 2023 Budo Kids Open, Kimberley Woodroffe, a student at Timothy Christian School in Owen Sound, was able to secure a silver medal at the Open, in the girl's ten to twelve-year-old white belt 98,5 lbs division.


Kimberley Woodroffe applying an armbar against her opponent.
Kimberley Woodroffe applying an armbar against her opponent.

Twelve-year-old Melanie Woodroffe, another student at Timothy Christian School, took bronze at the Open, in the girls’ twelve to thirteen-year-old white belt 142 lbs division. Melanie, who registered for the Open in the 132 lbs division, was moved up a weight category and was still able to add bronze to her silver medal earned at the 2023 Budo Kids Open a few weeks ago.

Six-year-old Danyel Kilian from Sauble Beach made her debut at the Open in the girl's six to seven-year-old white belt 52 lbs division and secured the bronze medal in her division.



Eight-year-old Kristahn Kilian from Sauble Beach, marched through Group A to secure himself a spot in the semi-finals. Kristahn lost his bout and finished in fourth place in his 13-athlete division.

Nine-year-old Sierra Almond, a student at Georgian Bay Community School in Meaford, made her debut birthed by fire. Sierra was placed in the girl's ten to eleven-year-old 113 plus weight division and faced girls almost 30 pounds heavier than herself. Sierra showed mental fortitude and was able to secure herself a fourth place out of the six-athlete division.


Ten-year-old Auron Ward, from Southampton, came in fifth place at the Open, in the 9-athlete boy’s ten to eleven-year-old white belt 78,5 lbs division.

Ten-year-old Carter Parkin, East Ridge Community School in Owen Sound, secured sixth place in the 16-athlete boys ten to eleven-year-old white belt 65 lbs division.

Adult Athletes

In the adult division, 2022 Canada Champion, Abrie Kilian lost in the finals by an advantage point, securing him a silver medal in the Master 2, Purple Belt 208 lbs division. “After all of my opponents withdrew from the medium heavyweight division, I was placed in the heavyweight division. Securing a silver medal against heavier opponents following my knee injury at the end of 2022 is encouraging. I am looking forward to competing further this year, with the sole intent to see Brazilian jiu-jitsu become one of the main individual sport codes in Grey-Bruce County”, added Kilian. Kilian’s silver medal qualified him for the open weight division, a division contested by all medalists, irrespective of weight. After dominating both the quarter and semifinals by way of submission, Kilian was ceded first for the upcoming finals. Kilian, however, lost marginally by points to earn him his second silver medal for the day.


The thirty-Eight-year-old military veteran from Owen Sound, Jonathan Newiger finished the 12-athlete master 1 white belt super weight division, in 5th place.

“This was the first time we have fielded a large group of youth athletes at a tournament and we are happy to report that 6 out of the 10 athletes were able to secure medals. With more than 2000 athletes competing, to medal at the Open is an immense accomplishment. The sheer volume of competitors to face and navigate is exhausting. It is only the well-prepared that are able to outlast to secure a medal at the Ontario Open”, stated Kilian.


The Academy secured 2 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals at this Open, an improvement from last year.


Kilian Academy wishes to invite the whole of Grey Bruce County, young and old, to visit their facility in Shallow Lake and engage in a journey of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Our professional staff will be happy to assist you to start your free week at Kilian Academy.


Kristahn Kilian preparing to stand whilst in his opponent's guard.
Kristahn Kilian preparing to stand whilst in his opponent's guard.

Melanie Woodroffe attacking her opponent's guard.
Melanie Woodroffe attacking her opponent's guard.

Article by the Owen Sound The Sun Times on the 11th of May 2023.
Article by the Owen Sound The Sun Times on the 11th of May 2023.

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