Regina twins face each other for gold at Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament

Brothers Lucas and Thomas Gloria often roll around on the floor, sparring with each other. At first glance, a person may think they're brawling, but they're not. 

The rolling around, knocking each other down, and pushing each other into uncomfortable positions is part of their Brazillion jiu-jitsu (BJJ) training.

Earlier this month, the nine-year-old twins travelled from their home in Regina to the Manitoba Open tournament in Winnipeg. The boys finished at the top, and had to compete against each other for the win. 

It wasn't the first time, either.

"It's hard watching them compete with each other," said their father, Romualdo Gloria. 

"It's also exciting at the same time, because you know that both of them doesn't give any quarter when they compete on the mat. So they pretty much put on a good show for everyone." 

Photo courtesy of Sweepscience - Regina Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

It was Romualdo's interest as an adult in the fast-growing martial art that got the boys into the sport. 

"I was always fascinated with how it works," he said, explaining he searched for a gym that could accommodate his two sons. 

The family found a home at ​Sweepscience – Regina Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For the last two years, the boys have been training there twice a week. They went from losing their first two tournaments to training in the advanced kids' program. 

"It feels exciting and it teaches me a lot," said Thomas, about learning the sport. 

Jiu-jitsu is not the same as karate or taekwondo or judo. 

"We don't use punches or kicks. We do this thing called takedowns, sweeps, submissions and chokes, arm bars and more," Lucas explained.

And while the boys do get into fights at home, they agree that the techniques they've learned are never to be used in a disagreement.

At the Manitoba Open in Winnipeg on Nov. 4, there were three children in their age group and weight class. Both Gloria boys ended up beating their competitors. In the Gi event (which required a specific kimono-like uniform), Thomas took gold and Lucas finished with silver. In the No-Gi (in which the boys wore rash guards and shorts only), Lucas won gold and Thomas got silver.

When it was over, the brothers hugged. 

Submitted by Romualdo Gloria

"It's okay. It's not bad to lose if you're against a sibling. It's fun to go against a sibling," said Lucas. "It's fun and at the same time competitive." 

Winning and losing against each other motivates the Gloria boys.They have very different fighting styles and admit they are tougher on each other than they are on other competitors. 

"I would go hard on my opponents," Lucas said. "But if it's anyone in my school or alliance, I go easy, don't get mad, just have fun."

Romualdo has taken up the sport, too, and has been at it for six months. 

"I just wish I'd have joined earlier in life or knew before, way, way before. It promotes wellness and a lot of problem-solving," he said, adding the hardest part is learning the proper techniques. 

Would the boys ever take their dad on in the ring? 

Romualdo says he hopes not, but his kids have a different vision.

"I would love to face him," said Lucas.