(RGA student) Oli Geddes (bottom/left) on his way to victory in the advanced division.
by Jon Broster
Following on from his double victory at the recent Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Submission Wrestling Championship, it was time for Gacie Barra’s Braulio Estima to host his own No Gi tournament.
This was by far Britain’s biggest No Gi event this year, with around 400 competitors in divisions from white to black belt and children through to seniors. The event built on the success of Braulio’s BJJ British Open that was held in the spring and ran very smoothly, with divisions running very punctually and being very clearly announced. Whilst attendance was significantly less than the BJJ Open (which saw over 700 competitors) it was good to see strong teams fielded by the country’s bigger schools – Roger Gracie Academy, GB Birmingham, GB Swansea as well as quite a number of participants from MMA gyms, who would probably not normally enter BJJ competitions. In order to give a relatively level playing field, the divisions were based on the amount of time spent training (rather than the actual belt level per se); as a result, some people were forced to compete above their normal division, (so a blue belt who had been training for more than 3 years would have had to enter the purple belt division).
The venue, the University of Wolverhampton sports centre, was excellent. The central location makes it easily accessible and the facilities were modern and well maintained. There was plenty of seating and plenty of room for spectators; in addition, there was a viewing gallery with a café for anyone who wanted a change of view and something to eat or drink.
The atmosphere was great throughout the day, with spectators cheering good performance from all those involved.
The level of competition in Britain continues to rise and this event was no exception. There were some excellent performances at all levels. It was particularly nice to see a fantastic level of athleticism and technique in the youth divisions, with several boys who looked like they would be more than capable of holding their own with, and probably beating, adults. Every division was fiercely contested, with play-offs for third place meaning that everyone who won a medal richly deserved.
In summary, this was an excellent event, whether for the experienced campaigner or the relative newcomer.
Jon Broster trains under Victor Estima at Gracie Barra Mansfield and under Lee Livingstone at Bushido MMA in Nottingham England.
This is an installment in our Tournament Review Tuesdays column, where FightWorks Podcast listeners submit reports about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions that happened the weekend prior. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of The FightWorks Podcast. Through the rest of 2009, if you submit a Tournament Review Tuesday piece, you might win an Isami gi!
Wolverhampton University sports centre