The city of Long Beach in California is commonly referred to as "The International City" due to its cornucopia of diverse ethnic inhabitants. On Sunday, April 26th, 2009, Long Beach will bring further meaning to its nickname, when competitors trained in every grappling discipline from around the world, will descend upon the sunny seaside city. The World Grappling Games (WGG) will be the reason for this torrent display of grappling fervor, as it hosts its fifth installment of its annual "Best of the West" no-gi submission grappling championships. The 5th annual "Best of the West" championships are set to take place at the Long Beach City College – Hall of Champions.
Throughout the past decade, the prestigious WGG events have attracted the top submission experts in the world. Grappling legends such as Marc Laimon, Dean Lister, Leozinho Vieira, Margarida, Alberto Crane, and Cassio Werneck. The next generation of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Ryron Gracie and Ralek Gracie. The new breed of American jiu-jitsu stars in Rafael Lovato Jr., Scott Bieri, Sim Go, Jeff Glover, Bill Cooper, Baret Yoshida, Nam Phan, Rick Macauley, Mike Fowler, and Ryan Hall. UFC superstars like B.J. Penn, Tony DeSouza, Diego Sanchez, Keith Jardine, Jeff Monson, and Ricco Rodriguez. Top female grapplers like Gazzy Parman, Leka Vieira, and Nori Avellan. Even the OnTheMat.com's very own Scotty Nelson and Danny Do Nothing have competed 'On The Mat' at various WGG events.
Now the next generation of grapplers will test their skills and look to establish their names in the same manner as their predecessors at one of WGG's flagship events, the "Best of the West". Just as its name suggests, it will serve to determine exactly whom the best no-gi submission grapplers are in southern California, which is the Mecca to jiu-jitsu and submission grappling in this country. The event will host divisions for competitors of every skill level in children, teen, women, men, and executive divisions. There will also be open weight (absolute) divisions held at the conclusion of all weight classes in that division with only the Novice and Beginner open division being combined. This will give every competitor, coach, and spectator the opportunity to gain a complete grappling experience in a safe, fun, inexpensive, and competitive atmosphere. So rest up, train hard, and we'll see on the mats at the "Best of the West" on Sunday, April 26th!