(Above: Linxx Academy/Pedro Sauer Team, Purple Belt Khristopher Gonzalez (b) chokes out competitor on his way to win Gold in his Gi Division)
Hampton, VA - Saturday, October 16th was a sight to see at the Boo Williams Sportsplex for the 52nd US Grappling: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling Event. Competitors mostly along the Mid-Atlantic states from Maryland to North Carolina came together to compete in this smoothly run adult-only tournament with winners determined by submission or points.
Categories that were available were both Men's and Women's No-Gi (novice, beginner, intermediate, advanced), No-Gi Absolute (in all skill levels), Gi (in all belt levels), Gi Absolute (in all belt levels), 30+ Gi (in all belt levels), 30+ Gi Absolute (in all belt levels), 30+ No-Gi (beginner, intermediate, advanced), and 30+ No-Gi Absolute (in all skill levels). Up to 9 weight classes were featured and with approximately 150 competitors in attendance, each competitor received at least two-to-three matches to leave their mark. One of the three founders, Andrew Smith, had this to say regarding his event, "We try to run the smoothest tournament around, instead of focusing on having the most competitors." I could testify to the smoothness of the operation myself as a competitor, by keeping track of the tournaments' agenda and noticing less than a 30 minute lag from the stated scheduling. With over a decade of competition experience Andrew has definitely had his share of tournaments, whether they be over-run by hours or as smooth as the events his team executes.
Competing in the white-belt skill level in the Gi, Gi Absolute, and No-Gi, I walked away with my first competition experience albeit no medals; it was a great learning and humbling experience as well as seeing old faces and meeting new ones. My school on the other hand, Linxx Academy, swept the majority of the categories as evidenced in obtaining first place in school points while our team affiliation, Pedro Sauer, came in a close second for team points. Main school instructor Nestor Bayot along with instructors James Gamble and Mackens Semerizer came along to provide a veritable coaching staff for the 12 school competitors in attendance. Out of those 12, 10 walked away with medals for a total count of: 10 gold, 5 silver, and two bronze. Not a bad count! While the upcoming US Grappling event will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, myself and the rest of my school team will be readying for the local Good Fight: 2010 Virginia Grappling Championships on November 13th.
1st - Linxx Academy
2nd - Gustavo Machado Virginia Beach
3rd - Combat Sports Center
1st - Gustavo Machado (4 schools)
2nd - Pedro Sauer (3 schools)
3rd - Bjj Revolution (3 schools)
* for more pictures of the event which will be released over the next few days: hc.posterous.com