This last weekend, on June 1st, Carlos Machado hosted the 2002 Texas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships.ÃƒÂ¿ At the tournament, Machado also had an official ceremony to award and recognize his first four American black belts.ÃƒÂ¿ Michael Fulford (paradigmer on the Underground) submitted an excellent review of the event and the ceremony.ÃƒÂ¿ Click on Read More to read his article.
Black belt award ceremony highlights the 2002 Texas Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Championships
-by Michael Fulford
Dallas, TX-June 1, 2002–In an emotionally charged speech at this weekend’s Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Championships, Carlos Machado announced the promotion of his first American black belt students: William Vandry; Travis Lutter; Klay Pittman and Tim Burrill. Carlos prefaced the award ceremony with some very stirring and patriotic words for the enthusiastic crowd.
“Made in America. Made in Texas.”
Oh hell yeah!
These words brought a boom of applause and cheering from the appreciative spectators. Carlos praised all of his new black belts for their dedication, heart and spirit. Personalizing the event, Carlos gave a brief background of each of the recipients before placing the coveted black belt around their waste.
Of significant interest, was the remarkable story of William Vandry, who overcame a severe, near-fatal head trauma in 1997 resulting in the loss of his sight and making him subject to recurrent seizures. Carlos commended William’s heart and resolve in not only recovering, but for returning to training and becoming stronger and more technically sound than he ever was. William has served as an inspiration to his many students in Austin and the surrounding areas. He selflessly has devoted time and resources to ongoing community projects including the Texas Commission for the Blind and to several local charities. It should also be noted that in the money hungry world of professional martial arts, William has sponsored students and athletes who do not have the financial resources to train and compete in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
The tournament itself drew a very large turnout of competitors. There were athletes representing schools from many different states. Its Interesting to see how large Carlos tournaments have grown in the past couple of years. It has truly become a national event.
To celebrate the promotion of the new black belts, we were treated to a “superfight” event between Rafael Lavato Jr.( a Machado brown belt), and another brown belt-parts unknown, weight unknown (Im being kind) and training UNKNOWN! The much smaller Lavato initiated the standup assault and easily got his much bigger opponent on his back. Once on the ground, Lavato side mounted and then finished the assault with the recently popular “baseball choke”. The “superfight” lineup left many spectators scratching their head in disbelief. Lavatos opponent never once even attempted to counter or gain a better position. A few members of the crowd were heard commenting that a blue belt could have done a better job than that. (Come on guys-give white belts some credit!)
The childrens division has been growing steadily over the past year. Its entertaining to see the parents-especially the moms getting involved. (Please forgive my Texas machismo) If I may coin a new term, we are starting to see the emergence of the “Jiu-jitsu Mom”! Yes, Jiu-jitsu Moms are packing up their Surburbans all across the nation taking their sweet darlings to jiu-jitsu class (And apparently picking up some fine armchair quarterbacking). “Mount him Johnny”; “choke him out, CHOKE HIM OUT!”, screamed one mother to her small child, who looked to be all of 5 years of age. im sure that in no time at all we will start seeing moms in shouting matches with BJJ referees over point discrepancies. Ya just gotta love that!
The blue belt division is growing larger at every tournament. It wasnt too long ago when all you would see at tournaments was a sea of white belt competitors with only a few blues sprinkled in. its indicative of the growth of our sport to see the progression through the ranks that has taken place over the past couple of years and the amount of solid blue belt competitors.
The Vandry team ended up placing 3 of their 4 blue belts in the medal rounds. Special recognition goes to Keith Wampler, a Vandry “baby blue belt”; who soundly defeated a couple of more seasoned blue belts in the packed middleweight division. Team Vandry has been a dominant force in the Texas BJJ scene for the past several years.
Carlos Machados Texas BJJ Championships series continues to grow and is providing a much needed outlet of competition for the southwestern part of our country.ÃƒÂ¿ I would expect to see continued growth in the amount of competitors, spectators and sponsors in the near future. Thanks to Carlos and his fine staff for serving the BJJ community!