WHAT IS A GRAPPLETHON : Grapplethon is an open mat fundraising training session where grapplers from various BJJ teams join together to train supporting individuals going through life struggles such as death in the family, terminal illness, and other burden hardships.
Format: 6 Minute Rolls (timer style). Gi and/or No-Gi. Everyone is welcome ( men, women, teens, & children.)
Raffle Prizes: There will be 7 raffle gifts up for grabs at the event.
In-Door entry Gift: First 30 people to show up will receive an exclusive Grapplethon patch!!
What is the Cause: Bryaden Hughes who is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma. Here is his story………
Brayden Hughes is a 13 year old boy that’s already overcome several health challenges in his young life. He was a premature baby that led to months living in neonatal intensive care centers, eventually having his first surgery at 11 months old. By 3 years old he was diagnosed with Autism attending numerous amounts of speech and occupational therapies to better prepare him for kindergarten. This once nonverbal boy, began speaking and with the help of an aide at school, progressed nicely throughout his elementary school career. By middle school kids began to bully Brayden to the extent that he had to be homeschooled. Just when things began to calm down ; the unbearable news was given.
Brayden was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma of the spine. A rare cancer that began in his spinal cord, and spread, fracturing several vertebrae. He has been receiving chemotherapy since July of 2015, and completed 6 weeks of radiation and is still going strong. Upon going to various hospitals, he learned a lot about pediatric cancer families and in doing so, realized that even in his darkest days, there’s a child somewhere fighting much harder than he ever had to. He began a charity where he takes donations and purchases much needed supplies for kids with cancer touching many families through his philanthropic work, and also boosting his own self worth a great deal. His strength through adversity speaks volumes to his maturity; and he hopes to one day be cancer free himself.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Congratulations to all of the blue belt competitors! The next post will feature the standout purple belts. Stay tuned!
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.
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.
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.