News Satire People Food Other

Walton’s Warriors In Winning Partnership

By Jessica Issa on April 3, 2013 in News

Photo: Bryan Brown

Photo: Bryan Brown

With two winners and two runners-up at the trials of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship Australia, all of whom have qualified for the World Final in Abu Dhabi, Bronte’s Gracie Eastern Suburbs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy is certainly doing something right.

Gracie Eastern Suburbs owner John Walton, a jiu-jitsu coach of six years and dead-ringer for Bryan Brown, took out the black belt over 92kg open weight division, while his student Ethan Thomas walked away with the blue belt under 83kg division title. For winning, the pair will have their flights to Abu Dhabi and accommodation generously paid for by the Middle Eastern nation’s Crown Prince.

Thomas beat another local Bronte boy, Hugh ‘Badger’ Fletcher, in a tough division final, while fellow Gracie fighter Nik Skoric finished runner-up in the purple belt over 83kg open weight division.

“I’m so proud of my students,” Walton said. “No other club had as many competitors who qualified, especially for a club as small as ours. We have really strong competitors and that’s the most gratifying thing for me.”

The success of Gracie Eastern Suburbs success coincides with their exciting collaboration with the FTW brand and its involvement with Suicide Prevention Australia.

“We are a sport that really promotes integrity, friendship and honesty. We feel our sport is a great place where if you’re ever struggling, you can come, train and meet new friends. You’ll feel good for at least an hour and a half and can get away from the stress in your life by living in the moment, and I try and promote this through working with FTW,” Walton said.

FTW co-founder Matt Dee echoed Walton’s excitement at the prospect of working together for a great cause.

“FTW is a representation for the black sheep of society; the demographic that tends to take their own life. I’ve spoken to people who have said jiu-jitsu saved their life. It’s a healthy way to release aggression in a happy place,” Dee told The Beast.

Gracie Eastern Suburbs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu holds all-ages classes every night at 6pm. You can find out more at www. For more information about FTW, visit