Jadon Hellerud has had an aptitude for the sport of wrestling since he was in Pre-K. The fourth-grader from Hilltop Elementary School in Argyle is currently ranked the number one wrestler in the state according to USA Wrestling in his weight class and age group, and has recently added something new to his repertoire—Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Hellerud recently earned the title of 2014 NOGI World Champion “Battle 4 the Ages,” after training in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for just six months.
“He had won some local tournaments,” Hellerud’s father and coach, Kerry, said. “So he got invited to a world championship that was an invitational only tournament after about two months. They only take eight kids from across the country and Canada in each weight class, and he ended up losing in the championship match to the winner of the world championship.
“About four months later, he was invited to another tournament, and he won it.”
Kerry said that he realized from almost the very beginning that Jadon Hellerud was gifted in the sport of wrestling, and time has certainly proved that to be true.
The Hilltop student is a 16 time state champion, between the states of Texas, Minnesota and North Dakota, and 18-time national champion.
He has a record of 307-24 with 191 pins in his career and Kerry said he believes his son has an immense talent in the sport.
“He can take this as far as he wants to take the sport,” Kerry said. “I have told him that if he keeps working like he’s working now, the sky’s the limit for him. If he wants to do Division I college, he is definitely capable. If he wants to go on and try out for the Olympics, he’s capable. But for me, it’s a matter of what he wants.”
Besides a tweaked knee and a couple of minor back injuries, Hellerud has been relatively injury free.
Hellerud said that there are many things he likes about the sport of wrestling, but said that on thing in particular keeps him coming back.
“What I like about it is that in most sports you don’t have to twist and turn so much, but in this sport, you can twist and turn whenever you want,” Hellerud said. “You also don’t always have to be doing something. You can take a break when you want to. But what I like the most about it is that it’s just fun.”
Jadon said the jiu-jitsu was useful at the tournament, but said he also found himself relying on what had gotten him there to begin with.
“It’s a lot like wrestling,” Hellerud said. “There were a couple of moves that I used from jiu-jitsu, but for the most part, I just used my wrestling.”
Jadon’s favorite fighter is Johnny Bedford and said he also likes Daniel Cormier and said he plans to wrestle at least throughout high school.
Jadon wrestles for Team Punisher Wrestling in Roanoke, where coach Todd Olson said that good hips, a lot of lower body strength and awareness of how his body works on the mat have contributed to Jadon Hellerud’s success in the sport of wrestling and agrees with Kerry that when it comes to Jadon’s ability, the sky is the limit.
“I think with him that as long as he stays focused, the world is at his disposal,” Olson said. “He absolutely has the skills and the drive to take it to a college level and possibly even the Olympics.”