Representing Top Team Brazilian School of Jiu-Jitsu in Lake Jackson, Erin Carter competed at the Kids International Jiu Jitsu Championships in Las Vegas and returned to the Angleton area with a third-place finish.
A 13-year-old, Carter competed in the 13-14 year old division last month.
“It was great, I faced a couple of competitors, and it was one of the bigger ones that I’ve been to,” Carter said.
Carter was 0-2 in her division but still got third place.
“I know that I need to try harder and stick around the people that have helped me to get better,” Carter said. “What shocked me the most was that my competitors were very strong. I thought I was strong, but now I know that I have to keep working harder. But it just seemed like they’d been doing jiu jitsu for quite a few years.”
An Angleton Junior High School student, Carter has been training for about a year.
“I know that just by doing this sport, it has brought me closer to my friends, and it is just a family thing,” she said. “Fernando (Halfeld, who heads Top Team Brazilian) is always helping with the little things, and if I am doing something wrong they are always correcting me to get better at that.”
Before the international meet, Carter competed in six previous tournaments.
“In Vegas her drive really impressed me along with her determination, which is amazing,” mother Carrie Carter said. “Her strength is above and beyond any 13-year-old I’ve seen.
“But along with that I was impressed with her strategy and her quickness to try to stay one step ahead of her opponents. She is quick to anticipate what they are going to do and knows what to do next.”
A gray/white belt owner, Erin Carter hopes to stick around the sport and continue gathering her belts.
For now she will be taking a break to play some football.
“I am a fullback/safety with the seventh grade A team in Angleton,” Erin Carter said. “I just thought it was something that I wanted to try. So far it has been good, and so far this year I am both carrying and blocking with the ball.”
Never having played the sport, Erin Carter is in her first season of taking on this challenge.
“Her father and I were against it for many years, but we want her to look back in 20 years saying that my parents supported me in anything that I wanted to try, and football was one of them,” Carrie Carter said.
“I am pins and needles because some of those boys are twice her size. They dwarf her, but she still goes after it and will put them down like anyone else ,which is amazing.”