For those of you familiar with the WKA USA grappling tournaments in 2006 on the east coast, you’ll recognize the folks behind the newest Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling tournament to hit the scene: Andrew “Goatfury” Smith, Mike Moses, Clinzy, and the rest of the mostly Richmond-based crew have put together a tentative yet nonetheless ambitious 2007 schedule for their grappling tournament promotion that spans the continental United States.
NAGA, Grapplers Quest, and World Grappling Games have done a terrific job over the years of giving opportunities for grapplers to compete. Personally I believe that with the growth of the sport there’s room for one more large grappling tourney organization here in the States.
Not that success will come by virtue of simply beginning a tourney circuit. Hosting tournaments is some of the hardest work out there. Critics are vocal and numerous, and often times events come to pass that affect a particular tournament experience that are out of the promoter’s hands. However Andrew and Mike are long time acquaintances of mine and we’re confident here at The FightWorks Podcast that they’ll do everything in their power to put on great events.
A side effect of having more organizations out there running shows out there is that tourney coverage may suffer, as there’s more content for the grappling media to have to report on. While promoters are by definition excellent at hyping up events that are on the way, in this environment they’ll have to become proactive in communicating results to those of us who want to help get the word out on happenings in our sport. Promoters, if you’re out there reading this, help us out!
US Grappling‘s first show will be in Milwaukee in February. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Make A Wish Foundation in memory of Joe Priole. As with any tourney, if they come to your town, make sure you help support the organization as our sport’s future depends on this activity.