Phillip Ingvalson, of Pequot Lakes, received his Blue Belt promotion Feb. 11 and then went on to compete in the 2017 International Brazilian Jiujitsu Federation (IBJJF) Pan Championship in Irvine, California, on Saturday, March 18, where he earned a silver medal.
In jiujitsu, the blue belt is the second belt earned in the adult division, which competitors enter at age 16.
"It is a big accomplishment," Ingvalson said. "That was the first pan-am I had won a match in ... It is the biggest bracket that I have had, and to overcome that obstacle of having to fight more than one or two times is a great feeling."
There were eight competitors in his division. He had three matches at the event, winning the first by decision, the second match by submission and also had scored 20 points. He lost his third match of the event to finish second.
In the 2016 season, Ingvalson competed in eight different tournaments, placing within the top 3 in all of them. He has set his goals high for the 2017 season, with sights set on winning gold in June in the Worlds IBJJF Tournament, which is the biggest tournament for the season. He will also be competing at the Minnesota Grappling Challenge on Saturday, April 22.
"(I need) to work out the kinks and improve my game before I go out to California again," he said. "Other than that, I'm feeling very comfortable and I feel good about this next meet."
Ingvalson trains with Alliance Jiu Jitsu/Damian Hirtz and The Performance Compound/Brock Larson. He attends Minnesota Connections Academy Online School.