Local teen climbing ranks in national jiu-jitsu competitions

A local young man is climbing the ranks in national jiu-jitsu competitions.
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 2:44 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - For Vince Barber, the hard work doesn’t stop, even during summer break. His days away from school have been spent training and working hard at jiu-jitsu at Palm Jiu-Jitsu in Saginaw.

Vince got into martial arts at a young age. In fact, he originally tried to pursue a different kind of fighting technique.

“When I was like really young, I watched ‘The Karate Kid,’ so I did that and then like I tried to do karate but like I didn’t really like it. So we went and found jiu-jitsu,” Vince said.

After Vince found jiu-jitsu, his parents, Joe and Peggy Barber, followed alongside him in his training. Now, the whole family has bonded over their love of training and grappling.

“When Vince goes to compete or if I compete or if his mother has competed, we know what each other are going through so we can help each other out mentally and physically through that,” Joe said. “We also have mats at our house so we can kinda drill stuff as well. Just grappling in general is amazing and I’m proud to do it with my whole family.”

Vince, at just 15-years-old, is already a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and has won and placed at many competitions, like Jiu-Jitsu Con International and Worlds.

He has a busy summer ahead of him with competitions coming up, but Vince is in every single day training and working at his craft to hopefully shine in those upcoming events.

“You’re gonna see the best in our world,” said Carl Rabideau, Vince’s coach. “The best in the world is gonna be coaching your opponent. I think that’s something that did take some adjustment for him but he’s absolutely adjusted mentally, his mental strength is really through the roof.”

Vince’s love of jiu-jitsu wouldn’t be complete without his family, his teammates, and his coaches.

“I think it’s like the people around me like, Coach Carl is like one of the greatest people I know,” Vince said. “Also the training partners, a lot of my friends do this, do jiujitsu so it’s super dope like when we’re all training and stuff and my family too.”