EVERYWHERE, TEXAS, AUGUST 1, 2011 – It’s a new day and a new month so we wanted to kick things off with a very exciting announcement for our readers. Today we are proud to introduce a new column to TXMMA.com focused solely on supporting and helping grow the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling Scene here in Texas.
We believe this aspect of Texas combat sports deserves more and more coverage. Paul, Mike V, Matt, myself, and several of our other contributors began with roots in BJJ – with several of us being a part of the scene before the Shoyoroll era of fancy Gi’s and tournaments almost every weekend. Seriously, I could write an entire post on how it was back in the day when all you needed was a plain sandpaper-rough HCK kimono, some plywood-hard puzzle mats, and maybe a viewing of Gracies in Action or Rickson’s Choke to get you through the day. I’ll probably still write that article but the gist of it is this… Back then, you considered yourself lucky just to have the privilege of training with a black belt. There were only a few in each city and die-hards would travel 2 hours to train with one if they had to. It was the same on the competition circuit. Up until recent times, tournaments only popped up several times a year.
I don’t know if you old-schoolers out there agree but the thought is that this latest crop of BJJ enthusiasts don’t even know how they good they have it nowadays!
Over the course of the past few years or so we as a community havw watched the scene grow at an astounding rate. We a TXMMA.com have even posted a few articles highlighting this growth with the women and children of the sport. Along with our media brethren like Barry Laminack (TCD), Spida Garay (TexasFighting), Shama Ko, Anthony Pepito, and more, we’ve seen the action on the mats get increasing coverage through photos, video, etc. but it’s simply still not enough. Texas BJJ and Grappling deserve more and we’re going to provide the medium for it.
Starting with this initial post edition of TheTexas BJJ and Grappling Digest, we’re pledging the latest news and happenings within the Texas BJJ and Grappling scene exclusively for our readers. What we intend to highlight are news and notes from the latest tournaments, outstanding performances, upcoming events, notable promotions, school openings, and anything that may be of interest to our readers.
Chances are this column will be monthly unless the scene demands more. It will get more refined as time goes along so be patient as it evolves and looks prettier with fancy graphics, etc. Also, as the man penning this column, I’m going to extend a caveat and tell you guys up front that it will focus on individuals and organizations I/we have outstanding relationships with. I’ll try to give everyone on our calendar a courtesy mention but if you’re not being covered more, then chances are good that we’ve never talked, done business together, or otherwise have any relevant relationship. I’m easy to reach though so feel free to contact me to explore mutually-beneficial opportunities.
Now on to the BJJ and grappling news, highlights, and more!
THE TEXAS GRAPPLING DIGEST – Inaugural August 2011 Edition
TOURNAMENT RECAPS FROM AROUND TEXAS – JULY 2011
As far as we know, July 2011 saw five notable tournaments come through Texas. The month started with the Results Grappling Challenge in Corpus Christie on the 2nd and was followed up by the Houston Grappling Grand Prix on the 9th. Texas grapplers caught a break on the 16th while the next weekend saw the LSBJJF put on their Youth Jiu Jitsu Championships down in Austin. Finally this past Saturday (30th) provided a double dose of action with the Texas Submission Grappling Challenge in Houston and Newaza Fights hosting their inaugural event for the Dallas area down in Duncanville with Newaza Fights: Inception.
TXMMA saw a presence at two of these events, with Mike Calimbas (me) providing photos/video at the Houston Grand Prix and this past Saturday’s Newaza Fights: Inception. We provided a recap and much more of both of the events so click on the links above for more on them.
TEXAS’ TOP PERFORMERS IN THE PAST MONTH
Once again this is entirely subjective based on what we have a chance to see and will focus primarily on advanced division performers since there’s simply not enough time to catch on the lower ranks. In the future though, feel free to send me a message for any outstanding performances (ie, 3+ wins, all subs, multiple division 1st places, etc. etc.) and we’ll be glad to include individuals from all divisions based on merit.
For July 2011, several outstanding performers caught our eye at tournaments where we had a presence here in the state. At the Houston Grand Prix, Jorge “Macaco” Patino (Gold Team) rocked the house by winning his superfight with Jeff Messina (BJJ Revolution) by points, courtesy of two well-timed judo throws and a stifling deep half-guard game. Marcus Hicks (Alliance) and Drew Lockwood (Elite MMA) both impressed at the same tournament, winning impressively in their matches, as did Stephen “Pesadelo” Austin (Alliance). Hicks in particular had the move of the day choking out his opponent with a standing guillotine.
More recently at Newaza’s tournament this past Saturday, outstanding competitors were also featured in superfight action with Roberto “Tussa” Alencar besting Bruno Bastos in their duel while Daniel “Jacare” Almeida beat Rodrigo Pinheiro in their matchup. Both matches ended on points. Also doing well in performances that we saw were Brazilians Marcio Andre and Kaue Damasceno along with some other names, mentioned in the next section below.
Also a special mention to the aforementioned Rodrigo Pinheiro of Gracie Humaita along with Sue Ausman of Team Lutter. The two recently traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete in the IBJJF Rio International Open and came back with some medals to their credit! Big-time congrats to these two internationally-acclaimed competitors!
PROSPECT WATCH – TOP PERFORMING KIDS & TEENS
In this section, we’d like to make comment of what looks to be outstanding performances by up-and-coming grapplers from around Texas. Surely we can’t catch all the names at once but we’d be remiss not to mention the continued development of young grapplers like Roman Hernandez, Justin Rebelloso, Danielle Alvarez, and the Mowles Brothers (Garrett/Levi). These young individuals performed impressively this past weekend at Newaza. With them and other grapplers from around the state such as Cain Menn, Darren Willingham, Rachel Aquino, Mark Lozano, Brooks Drier, and more, the future of Texas grappling is in good hands.
NOTABLE BELT PROMOTIONS FROM AROUND THE STATE
I can’t recall the dates exactly but we’d like to extend our congratulations to new Texas black belts Josh Lauber and Pete Runez, who earned their faixa preta from Relson Gracie and Travie Lutter respectively. Well-deserved rank for two outstanding gentlemen!
Also congratulations to two Houston area MMA fighters in Alex Morono and Daniel Pineda, who both earned another belt in BJJ courtesy of Octavio “Ratinho” Couto and Renan Chavez respectively.
UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS AND EVENT NEWS
According to our TXMMA Event Calendar, August is haping up to be a another great month of grappling starting next Saturday, August 6th when the 2011 Texas Open Sambo and No Gi Championships hits Cedar Park, TX. The following weekend features two events with the Texas Submission League Qualifier taking place in San Antonio while the highly-anticipated Europa Super Show Fight World Championships hits the Dallas Convention Center. We’ll be on hand at Europa taking pictures so make sure you say hi if you’re competing or otherwise attending that day!
Also confirmed just last night courtesy of promoter Elbert Hebron is an upcoming superfight for the October ‘Battle of H-Town 2011‘ event pitting Jorge “Macaco” Patino against Marcus “The Wrecking Ball” Hicks. Judging by their recent performances and overall reputations, look for this one to be an absolute slobberknocker of grappling match this fall!
TEXAS SCHOOL OPENINGS AND SEMINARS
Just a few things to report without prior notice.
Southwest Houston gets a boost with Renan Chavez and Evert Gutierrez recently opening Zion MMA in Missouri City while Joe and Jason Soliz have also opened the doors at Texas 3rd Coast MMA in Sugarland. Also opening soon elsewhere in the state is former UFC fighter Bobby Southworth, who is due to set up shop with his academy in San Antonio.
BJJ AND GRAPPLING COMMUNITY NEWS
Did you know that many of the top matches from tournaments all around the state can be found on one single resource? I’ve worked hard to build a showcase of the top Texas grapplers around via the Texas Grappling Channel. Currently the match count is nearing 500 matches already with more coming in with each tournament we attend. Check it out today!
Also, there are several places to interact with your fellow BJJ & grappling enthusiasts via Facebook. You should definitely support the cause and LIKE TXMMA if you haven’t already. Also, I’ve created an group exclusively for grapplers around the world literally entitled the Worldwide Brazilian jiu-jitsu Community. As it stands, that group is little over 300 members large with probably about 50% being black belts so it’s a great resource to talk shop. Our emphasis with both TXMMA and the groups is on building our community so join both of them today!
Also, make sure to check out another feature on TXMMA.com focused on BJJ and Submission Grappling with our Technique of the Week. Contributors so far have included Atos lightweight Eduardo Ramos, UFC Fighter Charles “do Bronx” Oliviera, Genesis Coach Albert Hughes, and more so make sure to bookmark our technique section for more every single week!
IN CLOSING / HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
In closing this first edition, I just wanted to simply thank my fellow BJJ / Grappling enthusiasts for taking the time to read this diatribe and help support the growth of the sport we all love so much in the best state in the nation!
I also welcome your feedback and comments so if you have any ideas on future content or want to contribute news, information, or even articles to this column, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Same goes for any business owners out there looking to gain exposure via sponsorship of this column or TXMMA.com in general. Both are guaranteed to provide great exposure and proven ROI for your brand. I suggest you capitalize. That’s all for now folks. See you guys on the mats! Oss!
YOU can help us grow Texas MMA! Please take a moment to read this article to see how YOU can help us grow the sport. Please make sure to LIKE TXMMA on Facebook when you get the chance and let us know if you have any feedback on howwe can serve you better!