A Teesside University martial arts club, which was only formed at the start of the academic year, is now ready to compete on the national stage.
The Jiu Jitsu club, known as the Teesside Vipers, only started recruiting members last October but is now ready to take part in competitions.
The club will compete against other universities in Nottingham next month.
The club has 15 students and member Matthew Bigland says expectations are high.
He said: “We have nothing to lose with a vast opportunity to learn.”
Chairman Danny Thompson said: “Since fresher’s we have had many students take part, the ones that have stayed have improved greatly and I think we will do well in Nottingham.”
Law student Tedi Murray had never been involved in martial arts before but did not let that stop her from joining the club.
She said: “I started off training with my parents in the summer, I decided to join this club and carry on training because I find Jiu-Jitsu challenging both mentally and physically”.
The form of Ju Jitsu the Vipers use started in Brazil and is called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but it is more commonly known as BJJ.
BJJ combines both Japanese Jujitsu and Judo, teaching participants to defend themselves no matter what their size.
The sport differs from most martial arts as it is mainly ground based, with particular focus placed on joint locks to make opponents submit.
Worldwide interest in BJJ continues to grow as the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship has many expert fighters in this discipline.
Fitness experts such as Men’s Health UK believe that five minutes of BJJ can burn over 400 calories due to the high energy demands placed on the body.
Sports Science student Nathan said the club is open to anyone to join.
He said: “Come down get some fitness, have a good time, it is always fun choking people out.”
If you are interested in joining contact the Teesside Vipers Jiu Jitsu club or Danny Thompson on Facebook.