Reid Jones continues to add to his already impressive resume.
The 14-year old from South Pontotoc and standout Jiu-Jitsu competitor won world titles in December 2019 at the NAGA (North American Grappling Association) World Championship in Dallas, Texas for the second consecutive year. Jones won dual World Championships in intermediate 99.9-109.9-pound GI and NO GI. He also competed in the expert division, where he won a second place in NO-GI and 3rd place in GI.
The previous year, in December 2018, Jones had Jones won the 13-year old GI 90 to 99.9 pound class and the 12-13 year old NO-GI 90.0-99.9 pound class.
Among Jones' previous accolades are a bronze medal at the Kids International 2018 IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the sport's most prestigious tournaments and by invitation only, and a silver at the same event in 2019.
Jones recently rose to the level of yellow belt in Jiu-Jitsu. In his first competition as a yellow belt with the American Grappling Federation in Biloxi on January 25, Jones posted a second place showing in advanced NO-GI and first place in advanced GI.
When Jones first became involved in Jiu-Jitsu, neither he nor his family foresaw how serious it would become. He simply wanted to learn how to defend himself.
"I first started out with Taekwondo, but then I moved into Jiu-Jitsu. I realized it was better for self-defense," Jones said.
"My favorite part about it is when we are going I don't know what the other person is going to do. I love the anticipation and always know I can do better."
His success in competition is the result of very hard and consistent work. Jones trains 5 days a week. He trains in boxing and Jiu-Jitsu under Grady "Sue" Hurley with Ultimate Fitness & MMA in Tupelo. Reid also trains in Jiu-Jitsu under Michael Laborde at 662 Jiu-Jitsu in Oxford. He does strength and conditioning training under Derek Nelson with Small Town Fitness in Guntown.
"Boxing has helped me with my focus," Jones said. "The fitness training has gotten me to where I am stronger and can get people off me. It has also helped my stamina."
Jones will compete locally at the King of the Mats Tournament at UFM in Tupelo on March 7th.
Later this year Jones will travel across the pond to compete in the European Kids Championship (IBJJF) in Dublin, Ireland on May 23.
He will also return to the Kids International IBJJF Championship in Las Vegas June 21 to try to win gold.
Despite still being young, Jones already has big goals in the sport.
"I want to get my red belt, which is the highest you can get. It is a long time from now to then," he said with a laugh.
One becomes eligible for the red belt at age 67.
In the shorter term, Jones wants to be a Jiu-Jitsu coach himself and perhaps even own a gym. To that end, he has already gotten his feet wet teaching others. He helps run a fundamentals class with his coach Grady Hurley.
"Whenever you teach a technique you have to be able to do that technique yourself," Jones said. "It's made me brush up on some of my techniques."
Jones says the sport has helped his confidence level and he wants to help instill that in others.