Wednesday, 27 February 2013

32 and 16 man Showdown Feb 24th 2013 Recap

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of refereeing and watching this unique event. The show was put on by Pecker'd Services with help from the OGA and sponsored by a whole bunch of cool local MMA / Jiu Jitsu businesses like Fight Planet and Grappling Industries.

Leading up to the event, Alex was promoting it on Facebook a lot, but I only knew a few people competing, and no one from my team was fighting, so I'll admit, I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. There were some very intriguing potential match ups though, so in the end I decided I was going to go watch. A couple days before the show I got a message from Alex saying he needed a ref comfortable with IBJJF Rules and asking if I could help out. I jumped on the opportunity because I am always looking to improve all aspects of my Jiu Jitsu game and also of course, to help the community out.

I got to work with my friend Pat Goulah on the refereeing for the day, He took care of the NoGi matches, which were following the Grapplers Quest Pro Rules, and I did the Gi matches, which mostly followed the IBJJF Rules. The exceptions to the rules were: No calf or bicep slicers, no heel hooks / knee reaping, no spine locks of any kind (even with a choke), and I feel like there is one more, but I can't think of it.

The other difference was that we were warning for some things that would be an instant DQ, for example: reaping the knee / turning the wrong way for an ankle lock, head-butting, trying to get out of bounds in a submission, and maybe some other things. It was a show, as well as a tournament, so we tried to keep it fair while keeping it entertaining. No one wants a fight to end because someone tried to get out of bounds.

I have edited this paragraph. Originally it insinuating some things that I did not mean, and was unfair to Andrew.  I sincerely apologize for that.

Unfortunately there was one incident that warranted an immediate DQ.   In the semi-final match between Darson and Andrew,  Darson ended up being spiked onto his head and neck.  It was a bad position to land in from an awkward position.  It caused a scuffle in the stands which was quite unfortunate.  Andrew apologized over the microphone, and kept it classy.    Something I did not do with the original version of this paragraph.  I cannot apologize enough for the tone of the original version.  GP has posted a clip of the incident on their site here

One of most impressive performances of the day came from Justin Steele, who, I believe, had the fastest submission of the day. He was the youngest, and one of the smallest competitors, and managed to make it all the way to the semis, lost to Arther, then beat last years defending champion by triangle to win 3rd place. His Jiu Jitsu was phenomenal and he was incredibly polite and classy all day long.

Darson Hemming was incredibly impressive as well. He won the nogi tournament, with a few subs, and some points. The final fight was a perfect case for small flexibility and technique verse size and strength. I'm not saying the other guy didn't have technique; he was pretty impressive in his own way,  defeating the largest competitor of the day in overtime in the previous match. Either way, Darson put on greats fights all day and it was fun to watch.

Finally, last but not least, Arther/Stanlee Zuka /Chandromahan, the guy with too many names, won the Gi 16-man division. Arther was also on the smaller end of the scale as far as competitors go, but those guys didn't stand a chance against his crazy style and inverted attacks. Also, his ankle locks were quite impressive. My ankle/foot was hurting just watching him snap them on everyone. Arther's biggest challenge was Darson in the 2nd round. This match was ridiculous, and ended up coming down to a decision. I chose Arther, and I stand by that choice. There is, of course, some discussion about it going on on Facebook, but there always is. Here is the video for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to comment there on who you thought should win and back it up with more than just "he was on top", "or he was aggressive".

Last but not least, I know, I already said finally, but I remembered one other fighter who showed a great attitude, great fighting spirit, and who is always a pleasure to watch. Mike A. the rooster weight, entered the no gi division. I think Alex and Rohit set him up with the 2nd smallest guy, but there was still a pretty obvious size difference. They had a killer match, with lots of leg lock attacks and knee bars and toe holds. It was crazy. Eventually the leg locks failed Mike and he ended up taking a nap from a arm triangle. Hats off to Graham Peckham for subbing the impossible to stop Mike!

The event did start a bit later than scheduled, but that was partially because a few people didn't show up, a few showed up late, so they had to work that all into the draw. We ended up having to drop the match length down from 10 minutes to 5 minutes after the first round because we did the math and we would have been there way past closing time if even 1/2 the matches went full time. We ended up back on schedule, and put them back up to 10 for the semis and finals.

It was a really neat event, and I am glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. Hopefully next year I'll be able to referee and be a part of it again. I know I will do more to help promote and support it down the road because it's this type of event that helps spread jiu jitsu to the outside world. Oh yea, I didn't really talk about that. The showdown was part of a golf sale/show and sports show, where they had lots of local teams/leagues all together with interactive demos and information and things. It's a pretty cool concept, and having jiu jitsu showcased there exposed it to people who have never seen it and don't know what it's about.

So, congrats to the winners and to everyone who came out and threw down. It takes guts to enter an event with no weight classes and no skill divisions. Let's be honest, it takes guts to go out and compete no matter the circumstances! Great Job by everyone involved!

I'm heading to Boston this weekend for the IBJJF Open, and Chicago the weekend after that! There is also a small chance of Montreal for the FFC2 the weekend after that. Balance in life, who needs it? I was delusional to think it was for me hahah.


  1. how do you accidentally pick someone up from double underhooks, and then drive them into the mat head first...
    1 his head was a max of 4" off the ground
    2 bottom chose to stay in an awkward and vulnerable (referring to safety not technique) position on the back of his head with his bottom in the air.
    I am not saying that this was not "according to the rules" in fact a spike but to call it anything but an accident is wrong. Simply a guy trying to create some action by opening up a potato bug.

  2. I'll start off this post with thanking Pecker for putting the show on again this year. It has been one of the most enjoyable tournaments to participate in year after year. Unfortunetly this year was marred with controversy with the DQ and scuffle in the stands.
    There seems to be some confusion about the series of events that led to my DQ. Your description of the match between myself and Darson is not accurate. We were not in a position for me to attempt a double underhook pass (video will be out soon). In the awkward position we were in, I lifted him (on my knees) in an attempt to pull him off my leg,flatten him out and score points. It didn't work as intended, he continued to hold onto my leg in an inverted position and he landed on his head and neck. I was relieved to know he was not seriously injured and it seemed to have no influence on the outcome of the final match.
    When I apoligized on the mic and said it was an accident that he landed on his head and neck, it was true. I don't appreciate your inaccurate description of events, your implications of malicious intent or that I was insincere or lying during my apology.
    I look forward to competing in the 32 man showdown next year and I hope to meet Darson in the finals as a battle of past champions.
    Andrew Elliott

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for taking the time to tell your side of the story! I really appreciate it. I apologize for sounding like I was accusing you of intentionally spiking Darson on his head. I know his style is not what a lot of people are used to and is difficult to deal with. At the end of the day, when you pick someone up, you are responsible for them to get back to the floor safely. Even in MMA, that would have been considered a found and probably would have resulted in a DQ.

      I'm looking forward to seeing the video, it was an interesting match, and it's much easier to see what went wrong to make Darson land the way he did when we can watch the clip over and over.

    2. I have re-worded that part of the post, and also sent you a message on facebook. I really am sorry for the way i had it written originally. It was not fair to you.

  3. wishfull thinking "andrew" but you're not making it out of the first round next year. i'm gonna spike you and see how you like it.

    1. Now Now Kids, keep it friendly, or as that Gracie guy says, Keep it playful. The showdown is a friendly competition, let's keep it that way.

  4. Patricia, I think its great that you took the time out of your day to ref the event and “support the community” as you say. It’s also a great way to lend credibility to your blogging on grappling and jiu-jitsu. It’s a pity that you then, in short order, utterly destroy your credibility by acknowledging in the 3rd paragraph that you are not even aware of all the rules for the matches that you are refereeing and cite the ever tricky “I feel like there is one more, but I can't think of it”. I found it equally interesting that the list of illegal moves that would no longer result in DQ but rather a warning included “maybe some other things”.
    While I do laud your volunteering your time, I point out the above because I think it demonstrates your lack of attention to detail and your apparent struggle with specifics. I point this out because your description of Darson being “spiked” on his head is comedic in its inaccuracy. I would be shocked, and frankly impressed had the offending grappler been able to “spike” Darson via double underhooks. This would surely constitute an impressive athletic feat. There were no underhooks. As an earlier poster describes, Darson was inverted, legs around his opponent’s waist. I saw you tried to correct yourself and relabeled this a “double under hook pass”, another swing, another miss. This is not at all what happened. It was an odd position, with Darson inverted and his opponent hipping in and trying to apply pressure. The result being as Darson’s opponent postured and then drove forward again, Darson’s head hit the mat. It looked innocuous from my vantage point, but Darson appeared to be in pain as he writhed on the ground holding his head. The ruling of DQ was made. To his credit the opponent, Elliott, apologized. I do not take issue with the DQ. I think athlete safety must be a priority.
    What I do take issue with is that while not outright saying so, you insinuate Elliott is a remorseless liar. This is unfair, ungrounded and inaccurate. However, I will give you that it sticks with the general tone of inaccuracy that you have perfected in this blog post. Later, I did see made a non statement in the comment section that you were sorry for “sounding like I was accusing you”. Let’s be clear, you were accusing.
    As a spectator and fan I sincerely thank you for helping to make a great tournament with some great action. As you point out it’s a shame it was marred by a fight in the bleachers. I would go one step further and say it’s a shame that an official would make accusations that are not only baseless but worse, supported with terrible inaccuracies. Grappling and JiuJitsu are great sports, failing to accurately represent events and without basis acuse competitors does not “support the community”.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought out post. But let's get one thing straight. I know the IBJJF rules, and the matches I was refereeing were under those rules (with a few modifications). As you quoted “I feel like there is one more, but I can't think of it”. This is true, when I was writing this blog post, I could not recall if that was a complete list of the disallowed techniques. This doesn't mean that I did not know the rules that I was refereeing under.

      My lack of being able to remember the exact details of which rules we were warning for, which we were disallowing, and exact situations that occurred has nothing to do with attention to detail, or my skills as a referee. It has to do with the fact that I sustained a concussion several months ago and still have issues stemming from that when it comes to recalling specific things in the short to medium term memory.

      I fully admit that I described the situation of how Darson was spiked incorrectly. But the fact of the matter it, he was spiked, on his head and neck.

      Again, I apologize for insinuating that It was intentional and that his apology was not sincere. I write my blog posts as thoughts go through my head, from my vantage point, it looked intentional. I am Sorry to Andrew, and his team/fans for making that assumption. Andrew DID apologize and I wish I had been able to hear, more clearly what he was saying. He was a very impressive competitor, and I am looking forward to seeing him compete next time.

      At the end of the day, I need to think more before I go on a typing spree and be sure that the tone of my blog posts are not so accusational.

    2. I have re-written the offending paragraph. It was poorly worded and not kind. I am very sorry for how accusational it sounded.