PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (WJHG/WECP) Call him a high school athlete who is off the beaten path, so to speak, in terms of one of his chosen sports!
Bay freshman thriving as beginner in the sport of Sumo wrestling
15 year old Bay freshman Jordan Sikes is learning the ancient sport of sumo wrestling. And he's not just learning, he appears to be thriving. After just a few months of working with Sumo coach Cornelius Booker at Emerald Coast Jiu Jitsu in Panama City Beach, Jordan, who also plays on the offensive line for the Bay football team, has earned a spot in the men's heavyweight division at nationals. So how did this all come about?
"Well it started out with my dad as a football drill, whenever I was a little bit younger." Jordan told us during his workout Sunday morning. "But after wrestling, I grew out of it, I was a little too big. So my dad heard about Sumo and a guy named Cornelius Booker. So we started going here, about six months ago. And we've been training ever since.
Sikes says the other sport he plays, with the Bay football team, as an offensive tackle, well this helps in his Sumo, and vice versa. And it also incorporates his love of Jiu Jitsu.
"It took me about a month to understand the sport because I've done sports that are similar to it like football, and Jiu Jitsu. They are kind of, very similar to it. You can use different parts to it to help you get better. It's a lot like offensive line in football because of the three point stance almost. And how you launch up and make contact with the other person. It's a similar to judo or jiu jitsu because of the ability to throw people to the ground."
Jordan's coach, Cornelius Booker himself a U.S. lightweight champ, so Jordan's getting good tutelage indeed. The U.S. Nationals will have 83 competitors in all, including Sikes.