Music City Grappling Championships
Nashville Tennessee is named the Music City because the arguably the most important building in country music, the Gran Ole Opry, is located there. I`ve never been much of a country music buff myself, and I may be even less of one after being serenaded by Ed Clay on a few occasions this trip. Two things Ed does know well however: the first name of every waitress at the local Hooter`s restaurant (Go for the Wingsâ€¦yum) and how to throw a grappling tournament. That is he kept the prices low, the environment friendly and the action rolling.
Day 1 featured the gi / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu portion of the event. Many of the South East`s finest attended the event, including Jacare`s school and Alliance team, American Top Team, Rickson affiliates and Gracie Barra affiliates from all over the country. There were quite a few purple and blue competing this day, however the most pleasant surprise had to be the level of technical prowess and action that went on in the white belt matches. While often inexperienced jiu-jitsu players will simply to out muscle or out athletic their opponents, many of the white belts could be seen moving well and attempting techniques and finesse. Keep it up, you`ll only get better.
The day`s superfight was a submission grappling match in which American Top Team Black Belt Boca controlled and defeated local grappling stud Mike Pyle.
The second day of competition was the no-gi submission grappling portion of the tournament. Many of the participants who had participated in the gi portion of the day also participated on this day as well as some local grapplers and wrestlers who wanted to try out their skills in a new format. However the days main highlight was were the two absolute tournaments one under 190 and one above, which participants competed for a cash top prize. The finals of the under190 pound division saw a rematch between Mike Pyle and Boca. This time Pyle opened his game up a great deal more and attempted to take the match to Boca, but once again Boca used superior control to earn the victory. Still Pyle, who trains much of his time in his garage definitely acquitted himself well over the course of the tournament. The over 190 category saw Mike Harvey, a three time All American wrestler at Michigan take on Jason Godsey, a veteran of many Mixed Martial Arts competitions such as the UFC and IVC. For those of you only familiar with Godsey`s performances in these events would be astonished at the level of skill he displayed during the day, submitting many of his opponents with plenty of finesse. The smaller man, Mike Harvey, used his superior takedowns and control all day and walked away the over 190 absolute champion.
All in all, a good tournament that should have a bright future as he grappling scene continues to grow the number of high level instructors in the area growing, and not shortage of enthusiastic students. Sunday was spent searching out no particular after parties (naturally this involved a trip back to Hooters), but disappointingly enough no country music bars (I wanted to ride a mechanical bull, but as the night wore on this became less and less of a good idea). A Goth night in downtown Nashville proved to be unintentionally bizarre however (Hint: Goths DON`T wave glowsticks).