7th Southwest Classic Recap – Part 3: Brown & Black Belts

November 14th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

By Danny O’Donnell

While the blue and purple belts certainly put on excellent performances throughout the weekend, coaches and spectators anxiously awaited the brown and black belt matches. The brown belt divisions started off with many back and forth matches. Gilbert GD Jiu Jitsu instructor Daniel Hampton started his day off with several competitive matches in the adult brown belt Ultra Heavyweight division, where he ended up coming away with a silver medal. Daniel was able to rebound from his loss in the finals of his weight class to win the adult brown belt Open class after 3 hard fought matches.

Daniel Hampton 7th SW

In the brown belt Master 1 division, Joseph Murphy from John Crouch BJJ earned 2 gold medals after 3 tough matches. After winning his only match in his weight class, John went on to win 2 matches in the Open class to cap off his day.

Joseph Murphy 7th SW

The black belt divisions kicked off with an exciting matchup between Lightweights Issa Able from GD Jiu Jitsu and Gerson Atoigue from Nava BJJ. Issa came away with the win by points after a closely contested match. The adult black belt Open class division was a matchup between Carlos Farias of Carlos Farias Jiu Jitsu and Daniel Grippaudo of BJJ Revolution. Daniel fought hard throughout the match to resist Carlos’ heavy pressure passing, but was ultimately not able to fend him off. Carlos’ win added another gold medal to his collection, continuing his impressive run in the 2015 season.

Issa 7th SW

In the black belt Master’s divisions, Jesus Artesi and Tom Cronin won the Master’s 1 and Master’s 3 categories, respectively. Jesus did not have a match in the Master 1 Medium Heavy division, but won an exciting match against BJJ Revolution’s Dimitrios Chrisos in the Open class. Carlson Gracie Team’s Tom Cronin also did not have an opponent in his weight division, but won 2 matches against Salvador Flores of BJJ Revolution and Parker Lapp of Carlos Farias Jiu Jitsu to secure the Open class gold medal. Congratulations to all of the brown and black belt competitors!

Thomas Cronin 7th SW

The next GDJJ Events tournament is the AZ Master’s Cup on December 5th. All competitors signed up by 11/23/15 will receive a copy of Launching Your BJJ Competition Journey After 30, “10 Steps to Maximize Your Tournament Experience” by Gustavo Dantas. Sign up today!

Matthew Kirtley Seminar in Flagstaff

November 9th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed


7th Southwest Classic Recap – Part 2: Purple Belts

November 7th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

By Danny O’Donnell

In the purple belt adult division, Power MMA & Fitness continued to showcase its up and coming talent with middleweight Jake Watson. Jake started his day off by winning the adult purple belt Middleweight division before entering the Open class. After three tough matches in the Open class, Jake ended his day with 2 gold medals.

Jake Watson 7th SW

Adriana Rascon, a purple belt Lightweight from Gracie Barra New Mexico, also put on a stellar performance. Adriana had 1 match in her weight class and 2 matches in the Open class. Despite being among the lighter competitors in the Open class, Adriana managed to emerge victorious. Her efforts earned her 2 gold medals for the day.

Adriana Rascon 7th SW

In the purple belt masters divisions, Nava BJJ competitors Eric Novak and Keola Kalama put on great performances. Eric won the Master 1 Middleweight division before earning his second gold medal in the Master’s 1 Open class. Keola also came away with 2 gold medals; the first in the Master 2 Ultra Heavy division and the second in the Master 2 Open class. The third Open class gold medalist from the purple belt master’s divisions was Heavyweight Edward Small of Rey Diogo/De Brazil, who won the Master 3 category. The purple belt divisions were among the most exciting of the tournament and brought great energy to the venue. The final recap on the brown and black belts will be up next. Stay tuned!

7th Southwest Classic Recap – Part 1: Blue Belts

October 29th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

By Danny O’Donnell

The 7th edition of the Southwest Classic took place at Desert Vista High School on October 10th and 11th, 2015. The first group of adults to take the mats were the blue belts. Among the schools with the top blue belt competitors in the state, Power MMA & Fitness stood out at the Southwest. The Gilbert MMA, Jiu Jitsu, & fitness facility brought home 7 gold medals from 5 competitors in the blue belt divisions. Robert Galvan, JT Hicks, and Quinton Pruett won the Featherweight, Lightweight, and Medium Heavyweight adult divisions, respectively. Kylee Roque won the Featherweight and the Open Class female divisions while Mason Minner won both the Master 1 Heavy Weight and Open Class divisions. Despite consistently making headlines in the MMA world, Power has also been producing high level jiu jitsu practitioners under the leadership of head coach Andre Maracaba.

Kylee Roque SW

Another standout among the adult blue belts was GD Jiu Jitsu’s Steve Lang. After taking 2nd place in the adult Ultra Heavy division, Steve entered the open class where he was able to capture the gold medal. Two other GD Jiu Jitsu students also put on great performances in the Master’s and Juvenile divisions, respectively. Corey Rough, who trains at the GD Jiu Jitsu North Phoenix location, placed 2nd in the Master 2 Ultra Heavy division before capturing the gold in the Master 2 Open Class division. Chelan Schumacher, from GD Jiu Jitsu headquarters in Tempe, won the Juvenile Super Heavy and Open Class divisions. John Williams of Carlos Farias Jiu Jitsu also turned in a double gold performance, winning the Master 3 Ultra Heavy and Open Class divisions.

Chelan SW

Congratulations to all of the blue belt competitors! The next post will feature the standout purple belts. Stay tuned!


Arizona Black Belts Hit the Jack Pot in Vegas

October 24th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

by Danny O’Donnell

The fourth edition of the World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championships took place on September 25th and 26th at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of the Evexia Fit Festival. It was the first year that this tournament has been held in Las Vegas, as the previous three editions took place at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, CA. This edition of the Master’s Worlds was one of the biggest IBJJF tournaments this year, with registrations reaching full capacity nearly a month in advance.

Athletes from across the globe took to the mats in Vegas as the Master’s Worlds is considered one of the premier tournaments for over 30 competitors. While there were many athletes who represented their regions extremely well, the black belts from Arizona stood out. Despite often competing in the adult division, Wellington “Megaton” Dias went up to his appropriate age category and put on an amazing display of technique, winning both the Master 4 featherweight division and the Master 4 open class division. Megaton had 3 matches in his weight class and 4 in the open class, defeating Roberto Traven in the open class final.

Megaton Master's Worlds '15

Carlos Farias, who has been very active on the competition circuit in 2015, competed in the Black Belt Master 3 Ultra Heavy and Open class divisions. Carlos won his first match in the Ultra Heavy by submission, but succumbed to a referee’s division in the semifinal, capturing the 3rd place medal. In the open class Carlos defeated his first opponent by points and went head to head with the legendary Saulo Ribeiro in the final. Although Carlos lost the match on points, he put on an outstanding performance in one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament.

Despite recently receiving her black belt in June 2015, GD Jiu Jitsu’s Sarah Black has been making big noise, winning the American Nationals and placing 2nd in the Asian Open. She competed in Master 1 lightweight and open weight categories, defeating Maria Gonzalez in the final of the lightweight division and dropping a very close match in the finals of the open class to Leanna Dittrich of Fight Sports by points.

SB Master's Worlds '15

The standout of the Master 4 Medium Heavy division was Paul Nava. Despite competing at a high level himself, Paul also brought a group of students that he coached throughout the weekend. In between coaching his students, Paul won 2 matches Saturday and 2 matches Sunday to capture the gold.

Head instructor of Daimyo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Tuscon, AZ, Manuel Flores also put his skills to the test in Vegas. In his first match, Manuel defended an early wrist lock attempt before catching his opponent in a kimura lock. He battled through a knee injury and showed great jiu jitsu in the semifinal match, but was narrowly edged out on points, earning a 3rd place medal for his efforts.

In the Master 5 Super Heavy division, Megaton blackbelt Cecil Burch won his quarter final match by points before dropping a close contest in the semis. Cecil’s efforts earned him a bronze medal in his division. Pedro Diaz, head instructor of Tigers Lair Martial Arts Academy in Gilbert, AZ, took 3rd place in the Master 5 Heavyweight division.

Congratulations to all the Arizona competitors at the 2015 Master’s Worlds, as everyone represented the high technical level that competitors from the area are known for. The next local tournament is the AZ Master’s Cup on December 5th. The inaugural edition of this event is offering cash prizes for Male Black Belt Master 1, 2, and 3 Open class divisions and the Female Black belt Master 1 Open class division. Visit gdjjevents.com for more details.

Southwest BJJ Classic Schedule and Brackets Available NOW!

October 8th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed


The brackets and the schedule are now available at www.gdjjevents.comThe 7th Southwest BJJ Classic will take place on October 10th & 11th at Desert Vista High School located at 16440 S. 32nd St. in Phoenix, AZ. Athletes should be in the warm up area at least 30 minutes prior to the time assigned for his or her division on the schedule. The competitors’ T-Shirts will be available at the AGGRO Brand booth. Also check out our sponsors DEUS Fight , OSS Arizona and The BJJ Mental Coach® at the tournament.









How many times have you felt frustrated and disappointed after a match, because you knew that you could have done so much better than what you have showed? You probably kept telling yourself: “That was not me there, I didn’t perform the way I practiced, I’m so much better than that!” If you can’t relate to this because you haven’t competed yet, think about any situation where you went in with full intentions of doing your best. It could have been a big test or a job interview, but for some reason, your nerves got the best of you and you could not deliver. Something was holding you back! Whether it’s in Jiu-Jitsu, your personal or professional life, you need to discover it and deal with it.


YES! The reason why I am so passionate about helping others to overcome mental blocks in competition is simple. Like most of you, I’ve been there before too and it sucks! Being prepared technically and physically, but not 100% mentally prepared. As a result, I had a hard time performing to the best of my ability. I’ve never competed as a white belt, I won ONE small tournament as a blue belt, and finally as a purple belt, I became an IBJJF World Champion for the first time, two and half years after my rough 0-5 initial competition record. I am not telling this story to impress you, but to share with you how becoming more mentally prepared for competitions made a huge impact in my performances and it can make an impact in yours as well.

The BJJ Mental Coach® will be running a special for the 7th Southwest BJJ Classic Competitors only. The $97 Four-Disc DVD Set “Inner Discovery for Outer Success” will be on sale for only $48.50! This offer will be available only on October 10th and 11th. (On Demand version not included in the special.)

Here is a little preview of the DVD.

See you this weekend!

Gustavo Dantas

Seminar with Milton Bastos on October 9, 2015

October 1st, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

Milton Bastos at Daimyo BJJ

Meet our newest sponsor: Deus Fight Co.

September 27th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed


Deus Fight, Co. is a Faith based brand focused on Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Boxing. We develop cutting edge, original merchandise that rivals others in the marketplace. We focus on creating a culture of social consciousness where helping those less fortunate is not extraordinary or newsworthy, but something everyone associated with DeuS does without question. We combine that spirit of giving with the ability to strengthen souls, hearts and bodies on and off the mat.

Deus Fight sponsors the standout competitor from Arizona, Josh Guerra. Josh is currently ranked #11 of over two hundred competitors in the purple belt/ heavy weight division of the IBJJF Rankings.

Josh & Kanani Guerra.

Josh & Kanani Guerra.

Deus Fight Co. will be at the 7th Southwest BJJ Classic. For more info check out www.deusfight.com 

Competition Day with Coach and Competitor Sean Downie

August 27th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

With the 7th Southwest Classic quickly approaching on October 10th and 11th, competitors are busy making arrangements and planning out their training schedules. While the preparation for the tournament is now the main focus, competitors are also thinking about the day of the tournament. Whether you are a seasoned competitor or someone who is thinking about signing up for his or her first tournament, it is often helpful to hear from experienced competitors on how they handle competition day. Lotus Club brown belt Sean Downie competed and coached at the 2015 Arizona State Jiu Jitsu Championships, which took place on June 27th and 28th at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix. Sean was kind enough to discuss the tournament with us.

-Can you talk us through your day at the AZ State Championships? How many matches did you have and how did they go?

My day started off by arriving at the tournament around 9:30 to be there to coach my kids. This is always the toughest aspect of competitions for me, coaching my kids all morning and then competing myself. I had 10 kids from my gym compete Saturday so it was a long day for me. My kids did awesome, 6 of them winning gold and the other 4 taking either second or third, which was a big part of Lotus Club’s points for the 3rd place kids’ trophy.

After the kids finish I flip the mental switch from coach to competitor, throw on my headphones and start to focus. I knew I was going to be in for some really tough fights Saturday, having rolled with and competed against Daniel Hampton plenty of times and also having rolled with Horlando a few times. I know they are both world class competitors and started to prepare for possibly facing both of them back to back. I ended up making a mistake and leaving my lapel open for Daniel to find the choke in our weight class, which he took advantage of flawlessly. In the open weight I got a bye through the first round and was able to watch everyone go through their first fights, which I feel helped me prepare mentally for my fights. I felt confident that the open weight would be a rematch between Daniel Hampton and me. I was correct, as Daniel made it through his two opponents and I secured my spot with a submission in the second round. I was able to catch Daniel in a knee bar and secure the win in the open weight for brown belt adults. Along with my win in the adult open weight, my teammate Claudio Rios took double gold securing the brown belt masters open weight title along with my adult open weight, which was pretty cool.

Sean Downie

Congratulations Sean and thank you very much for your time! You can sign up for the Southwest Classic by going to gdjjevents.com.

Seminar with Isaac Doederlein on August 22, 2015

August 7th, 2015 | Subscribe to AZSBJJF by Email | Subscribe to the AZSBJJF RSS Feed

Isaac Doederlein Seminar