When many people think of high quality jiu jitsu in the United States, Southern California and New York immediately come to mind. While these places are undeniably hotbeds of jiu jitsu talent, Arizona is also home to amazingly talented instructors and competitors. What often separates one area from another in terms of the level of its jiu jitsu is the presence of high quality tournaments, as they challenge practitioners to continually strive to achieve better performance and results.
The AZSBJJF and GD Events have been hosting top quality tournaments in Arizona for well over a decade. What started as a 40 person in house tournament in 2001 has expanded into annual competitions for adults, kids, and master level athletes. These tournaments include the AZ Open, The Copa Bella/Kid’s Cup, The AZ State Championships, and the Southwest Classic. Just as the Arizona jiu jitsu scene has come a long way, so has my personal journey to the Grand Canyon State.
My name is Danny O’Donnell and I will be contributing to the AZSBJJF.com blog in an effort to bring you more awareness about the instructors, athletes, brands, and tournaments that make the Arizona jiu jitsu community so unique. This will include interviews, tournament recaps, seminar reviews, and any other news or information related to Arizona jiu jitsu. These blog entries should provide you with a better understanding of how special our community is and how it fits into the bigger picture of the growth of jiu jitsu in the U.S.
My personal journey started in Chicago, and after taking a seminar and private class with the head of the AZSBJJF Gustavo Dantas, I drove approximately 1,753 miles Southwest. I knew that in order to dedicate myself to my personal goals on the mat, I needed to surround myself with the types of world class instructors and athletes that call Arizona home. I first arrived In Tempe, AZ at the end of August 2014 with the goal of competing in as many tournaments as possible. One of these tournaments was the 2015 AZ State Championships, which were held on June 27th and 28th at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix. Stay tuned as the next series of posts will cover the tournament results and highlight some of the standout competitors.
Full results are available at www.gdjjevents.com