Yesterday & Today, the 2013 IBJJF Nogi Worlds Jiu Jitsu Tournament was held in Long Beach, CA at Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid. This is the biggest grappling tournament for Nogi grapplers other than Metamoris and ADCC (which was last weekend).
Now, Long Beach is about an hour or so away from the San Fernando Valley, so as a team, all 10th Planet Van Nuys members met at the gym nice and early on Saturday morning and carpooled down there to watch all the great matches and support some of our teammates and friends who were competing. Now, 9 am on Saturday morning felt damn early to me but the second we got there and I heard people talking about coming from all over the world to compete, I quickly stopped complaining. Haha.
As we stood in line to get our tickets to enter the stadium, we saw the first of many familiar faces to the fight world in line, former UFC Lightweight Champion and BJJ Black Belt, Ben Henderson. As the day went on, we saw more stars of the game, everyone from Dean Lister, Cobrinha, Romulo Barral, Rafael Lovato Jr, Andre Galvao, Eddie Bravo, Vinny Magalhaes, and many more.
The whole atmosphere was electric, twelve mats, big stadium, superstars around, cameras, the whole nine. We claimed a space on the bleachers and were joined up with a couple friends from other 10th Planets including Vista, Riverside, HQs, and more.
If you have never been to a World Jiu Jitsu tournament, it’s truly something special. I’ve been to Metamoris, Gracie Nationals, and tons of other tournaments over my years but seeing those yellow and blue mats at Worlds was breathtaking. We watched competitors slowly fill the mats and the referees dressed in suits would have them shake hands prior to the six minute clock starting. Moments later, we saw lots of high level grappling begin and heard the cheering from fans watching.
This truly inspirational experience gave me a lot. For one, meeting all these high level practitioners of our sport was so inspiring. To see them in person and to talk to them is something that’s always fun. Also, nothing gets your creative juices flowing like the atmosphere itself and watching the matches. The day definitely gave me some ideas to see what techniques and concepts were being applied by competitors and how it played out in their matches.
What standing techniques and takedowns worked the best? What guard passes had the highest success rate? What kind of back takes kept happening over and over? Were there any submissions that were constantly getting hit?
These are always questions that raced through my mind as I watched the Blues, Purples, Browns, and Black Belts go to battle.
At the end of the day, tournaments are always good. Whether you compete or not is your choice and you don’t really have to to reap the benefits. The example is in yesterday; I didn’t compete but still learned so much about the game and it gave me the inspiration to get back in the gym and go to work. And the truth is, that’s what you really want out of your competitions anyway. To everyone who competed, congratulations. Win or lose, going out there and giving it your all on that grand stage is what counts.
Anyway, happy training folks, let’s take from the experience of Worlds this year and get to working towards the next venture in all of our Jiu Jitsu journey.