CERDEC vet wins gold in jiu-jitsu championship

Ronald Seldon holds medals from Brazlian jiu jitsu tournaments he has won.

An Aberdeen Proving Ground Department of the Army civilian who recently competed in a national martial arts competition, brought home two gold medals, placing him at the top of his category, nationally.

A professional when it comes to preparation and training, Ronald Seldon, the reigning brown belt Master 5 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation world champion, said he doesn’t need luck, nor will he offer it to his competitors.

Luck, Seldon said, is useless; preparation is his key to victory. He said he knows he puts enough time and effort into training to be able to outwork any opponent.

“If you wish me good luck, then I’m not prepared to compete,” he said.

Seldon, won a pair of gold medals during the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, or IBJJF, Masters World Championships, which took place Aug. 24-26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was victorious in his weight class — super-heavyweight, designated for competitors up to 221 pounds — and in the open field, which was comprised of brown belt athletes who placed in their respective weight classes.

He took part in the Master 5 division, which is for athletes born in 1966 and earlier.

Seldon has practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu since he retired from a 21-year career in the Army as a first sergeant in 2005. While in the Army, he taught the Combatives programs and said he thought learning martial arts would be a good transition upon retirement. The Combatives program is based on Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques, he said.

When he’s not working as an international technology transfer specialist at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center — or working out — he can be found teaching the martial art at Top Flight MMA Academy in Aberdeen, an affiliate of Team Lloyd Irvin.

“I like teaching people and it keeps you in shape,” he said. “I think I’m in pretty good shape to be 50.”

One of his students, Dion Morton, a civilian with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Life Cycle Management Command, who is also in the Army Reserves, said he appreciates the way Seldon breaks down moves to the smallest level.

“It’s easy to understand and grasp the concepts of what he’s teaching,” he said.

Competitive by nature, Seldon said he likes the thrill of taking part in a one-on-one sport.

“If you lose, you have no one to blame but yourself,” he said.

He added that the sport also appealed to him because of its potential longevity; he said he’s heard of people as old as 75 practicing jiu-jitsu.

While Seldon had competed in regional events over the years, this was the first time he took part in the national world championship tournament.

He said the larger scope did not intimidate him. To prepare for the tournament, he trained six days-a-week and lost 15 pounds in three weeks to reach his weight class.

“I knew I was going to win,” he said.