Allie Newton, an eighth-grade student at Burns Middle School, brought a Jiu-Jitsu championship back to Owensboro this past weekend. At the age of 13, she managed to place first in the Gi, female division and second in the No-Gi division which consisted of both males and females.
Newton is coached by Josh Hayden of Gracie Owensboro, a Jiu-Jitsu academy located on Triplett Street. Her mom, Dawn Powers, attributes much of Newton’s success to the positive learning environment at Gracie.
“At Gracie Owensboro, everything is positive,” Powers said. “It’s a great family atmosphere, and I would recommend anyone to give it a shot.”
Newton trains anywhere from four to five days a week at Gracie. Just recently, she developed an interest in training others. In her spare time, she will attend classes and assist in training younger students.
“I went to practice every day to get stronger and have more techniques that I could do,” Newton said. “It is my goal to one day be an instructor.”
In two short weeks, she will be at a point where she can begin leading some portions of the classes at Gracie.
Newton first developed an interest in Jiu-Jitsu when she began watching her brother, Ashton Newton participate in the classes. After watching him do it a few times, Allie decided that it looked relatively easy and would give it a try — a decision she does not regret.
While battling some personal tribulations, Jiu-Jitsu has often helped her persevere. Allie and her mom are both grateful for the opportunities that the sport has presented her.
“All the struggles that I have been through, this just drives me to work harder,” Newton said.
Newton’s next challenge is preparing to compete in the state competition in Paducah on August 10.
“This is her saving grace,” Powers said. “I would recommend it for anyone — it helps them in so many ways.”