Riley, 9, conquers the world in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Nine-year-old Riley Parker-McCulloch with his haul of Brazilian jiu-jitsu medals.
Nine-year-old Riley Parker-McCulloch with his haul of Brazilian jiu-jitsu medals.

A dedicated nine-year-old boy from Chesterfield is making a big name for himself across the world in the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Riley Parker-McCulloch has competed in 21 top-ranked competitions, including the junior world and European championships, over the past year.

Riley Parker-McCulloch in grappling action.

Riley Parker-McCulloch in grappling action.

And he has brought home no fewer than eight gold medals, nine silvers and seven bronzes, including national titles, much to the delight of his parents and coaches.

Proud mum Rebecca McCulloich said: “Riley lives for Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He loves it, and comes off the mat smiling, win or lose.

“He has made friends from all over the UK, and his coaches are fantastic, making it fun and enjoyable to learn the discipline.”

Riley trains at the Fifty3Degrees gym in Chesterfield, where coach James Boyle said: “Riley is a pleasure to teach. We are very proud to have him as part of the team.”

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling, with particular emphasis on ground fighting.

The concept is that smaller, weaker people can successfully defend themselves against bigger, stronger and heavier opponents.

Riley is following in the footsteps of older brother Harrison, who has also won multiple medals in BJJ.