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Triad student brings home gold in Jiu-Jitsu National Championships

by Stephanie Malench

ST. JACOB — Triad High School Senior Alex Milam of St. Jacob not only brought home the gold for the National Championships of the Compnet Global Jiu-Jitsu League in his first year of competition, but finished #1 out of nearly 1,000 white belt athletes from around the world. Milam is one of 10 athletes on the competition team from Gracie Barra Collinsville and the first Metro East winner for this tournament.

A former wrestler, Milam, 121 pounds, had to compete against men as much as 30 pounds heavier than him in five of the tournaments and never finished below second place. He won the 141-pound class in Chicago and was undefeated in his weight class of 127 pounds and below. Most of the men Milam, 18, competes against are between 18 and 39 years old.

Milam trains his mind to predict his opponents’ moves by watching Gracie Barra instructional videos. It is his ability to predict possible moves his opponent can make that helps him defeat men much larger than him.

In the championship match, Milam was able to get his opponent to the mat and won by submission using an Ezekiel choke hold with 2 minutes and 32 seconds left in the 5-minute match.

Unlike wrestling, there is no off season for Jiu Jitsu. Milam’s goals for the 2024 season include getting stronger, building more muscle to reach the next weight class, sharpen his technical skills, and compete in 12-14 tournaments.

Gracie Barra Collinsville is a world class martial arts studio for children and adults to learn self-defense, improve physical fitness or join a competitive sport. Over 500 black belts have graduated from the Gracie Barra school worldwide.

Milam’s coach at Gracie Barra Collinsville, Professor Josh Cadenbach said “We are really proud of Alex. It is good to see how Chuck supports Alex making it to practice every day and their dedication. We are looking forward to seeing how he improves next year and hope Alex will galvanize his teammates to go to competitions with him.”


  1. Anonymous on November 30, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    Way to go Alex, we’re all proud of you

  2. Anonymous on November 30, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    Way to go Alex! We’re all proud of you.

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