Saturday, 13 April 2013

Toronto Grappling: Italian Edition April 13th 2013

I just got home from Seneca College after a solid day at Grappling Industries: Italian Edition, where three trips to ROME were given away. Overall the tournament was a complete success. It started around 9:10, scheduled for 9am, so pretty much on time.   We wrapped up the last match around 4:15pm and had all the mats on the skids by 4:30pm. It really is an easy, fast job when there are 20+ people picking the mats up. I'm not sure exactly how many competitors were there today, but I believe gi and nogi combined was about 400. They ran 10 mats and they were pretty steady all day.

Some highlights of the day:

Jon putting 2 guys to sleep, and at least once the ref gave the guy pass/back points before realizing he was in trouble. This is not the first time this has happened, and I am sure it won't be the last. He is very sneaky with them. He also got subbed himself 2 times. I like his style, no f'n around, kill or be killed, it’s fun to watch.

My friend and team mate Brad got his first 2 wins at blue belt today! He's had a rough go at blue belt so far, but it's good to see him getting a few ticks in the win column.   He has won in "intermediate" nogi divisions, but he doesn't count them, for some reason.

Also going 2-2 were Josh and Stephen. I didn't get to watch any of Josh's fights, but he was fighting well and working the things we've been training, which is excellent.   It's good to see Stephen winning to, He's had a lot of stuff to adjust to, moving from the east coast, new training partners, new style, new home, new job, working nights.   All that crap will take anyone a while to adjust to and I'm so happy to see that he's getting there!

I wasn't the only female referee!! My friend Quincy was working today as well! She's a pretty new ref but from what I saw, she did a great job! It's nice to have some more estrogen on the team. There is far too much testosterone in bjj in general, and the refereeing side of things is no different, if not even worse.

As a referee today, I had the pleasure to ref a lot of great matches. The blue -168 gi division was pretty stacked and there was a lot of great finishes. I also got to ref 2 purple/brown divisions in gi, as well as the feather weight nogi advanced. These were all very exciting matches and It was great to test my skills as a referee. I know in one of the matches, I had a brain fart, and gave 3 for a sweep, but it dawned on me almost right away and I fixed it.

I also had the worst experience of my referee "career" today. In a blue belt match, the competitor was in a triangle and stood up. He eventually set him back down mostly nicely, about an inch or two of the ground before he wasn't holding the guys weight anymore. Then, shortly after, he stood up in a triangle again, this time, after a few seconds he slams the guy down. I immediately call parou and get ready to dq for the slam. The fighter goes on a cursing rampage, saying it's f'n bullshit, if I am going to be an f'n women about refereeing, blah blah blah, I stopped listening. If he wasn't already going to be dq'ed for the slam, he was after that. This kind of behavior is NOT appropriate for jiu jitsu. It doesn't matter if you disagree with the call, you can NEVER have outbursts like this. His coach and friends were also yelling and cursing,   also completely inappropriate and disrespectful.

This really soured what was a great day of jiu jitsu. Overall all the competitors were very respectful to the tournament staff, referees and each other. I saw so much good sportsmanship and class throughout the day. That is what the sport is about and it pains me to see such poor behavior from experienced competitors and coaches.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the trips to Rome!

The trips to Rome were award to the following winners:

Gi - Purple/Brown Absolute: Amir Yafawi won this division. He was on fire today and was pretty dominant. This is the 3rd trip he was won from Grappling Industries!!

NOGI - Advanced -168 absolute. Arther Chandramohan won this. Arther has the most ridiculous ankle locks on the planet. I never want to fight him. He won a bunch of fights with ankle locks, a triangle, and in the absolute he won on points/advantages. The absolute matches were all very close and very exciting to watch.

NOGI - Advanced +168 absolute. Jon-Taine Hall won this trip. Jon-Taine hit at least one ankle lock today, and won his absolute matches on points. He scored early in both matches and weathered a storm at the end of both as well.

Grappling Industries is constantly stepping up their game. This events improvement was the introduction of the belts and wristbands to help keep the fighters apart. This is something I've been harping on them since the first event I attended and I am glad they've added them. It makes the referee’s job much easier, and it helps the score keepers, and spectators as well.

I would really like to see them have bigger mat areas. They are too small, and it causes a lot of trouble with going out of bounds, having to stop and move the fighters and safety concerns when enthusiastic double legs go all the way across to the far edge of the neighboring mats. This happens at a lot of tournaments, but it is definitely more prevalent at Grappling Industries. I always recommend this, and I know there are logistic reasons for the smaller fight areas, but I think it needs to be made a priority. The other thing they need is noise makers or score boards that have a bell. The referee should not have to watch the clock to know when the time is up and a gymnasium is too loud to count on the score keepers to be heard.

Coming up Next:

New York Open: Next weekend, a car load of folks from Pura are heading down to NYC to compete at the New York Open. Brad, Steve, Alasdair and I are competing, and Jon is taking up space in the car and hotel. We are driving down Thursday night after everyone is done work, so we have Friday to recover from the drive and maybe see Times Square. Then we compete Saturday, and drive home Sunday.

Montreal Grappling: April 28th. This is on a Sunday this time, which is kind of nice. It means we don't have to take Friday, or 1/2 day to drive up, or get there super late. It does mean we will be getting home really late Sunday night, and having to get up early for work Monday might be a bit rough. Coming on this trip are Josh, Stephen, and Jon. Hopefully there will be someone to compete against for me. Whatever.

Ontario Open: May 11th and 12th. The biggest and toughest tournament in Ontario and the biggest tournament in Canada. This event is going to be Epic. I'll be making my middleweight debut (hopefully haha) and fighting in the absolute in hopes of winning a trip to worlds. Hopefully we get a really big team out from Pura for this.

Grapplers Quest and Fila May 25 and 26th. Grappler's Quest is giving trips to Las Vegas for their purple+ and advanced absolutes, so you know where I will be on Saturday. I have yet to win a trip to anything and I am going to keep trying until I do, and then keep trying some more haha. Fila is on Sunday and it is a qualifier for the Fila worlds in London later in the summer. Fila is weird, but hey, it sounds like fun.

Worlds aka Mundials May 24th - June 2nd. That's right. We are going to California!!! We are going a few days early and training at Art of Jiu Jitsu for a couple days before the tournament. I am so jealous of Alasdair, who is going up 5 days earlier than we are. He makes so many sacrifices to do jiu jitsu full time and I really admire that. Stephen is also planning on heading to California, and Jon says he will fight as well. Should be a lot of fun.

There are even more tournaments this summer, but I think that is enough to talk about for now. I'm going to watch the TUF Finale now, so I will see you on the mats!


  1. Great article as always. Sorry to hear you had a disrespectful time. Just move on... always heard good things about you.


  2. Hey! I really like your articles as you are quite involved and well informed, but maybe you could have someone proofread them for spelling. :)

    1. I do have someone proofread them actually. LOL. I might have to fire him. Give me some examples so I can give him a hard time haha.

      TBH: It's a blog, not a news story, It's more like my writing my thoughts down as they come to me, so the grammar might not be perfect all the time, but I think that makes it more personal.

  3. Great post Patricia.