SAN ANTONIO, TX, March 5, 2012 – The Gracie Grappling Cup returns to San Antonio’s to the San Antonio area with their tournament taking place at nearby Boerne Champion High School this Saturday, March 10th. Last year, this tournament brought about some exciting matchups with Carlos Diego Ferreira taking the brown/black belt division title and cash prize and Drew Lockwood surprising the scene with his armbar victory over Huanderson Pavao, which eventually became the 2011 TXMMA Upset of the Year winner in BJJ/grappling.
We look for a repeat this upcoming Saturday with another successful tournament at Boerne Champions High School. We recently spoke to tournament organizer Joshua Lauber about what he expects in this latest edition of the GGC. Read up on what he has to say and make sure you register if you haven’t done so already. We’ll be out there covering the event so make sure to let us know on Facebook if you’re going so we know to take good shots of you in action!
Gracie Grappling Cup Interview – Joshua Lauber
Tell us a little bit about the history behind Gracie Grappling Cup.
Tournaments have always been a part of Relson’s jiu-jitsu. As his student in Hawaii our team was always competing and throwing tournaments. When your team runs the tournament you start volunteering to help move the mats, run the video camera, run a table etc. In turn you end up seeing how tournaments work. Having Relson as the general you see the example he sets, honesty, fair play and sportsmanship. This inspired me and when I moved to San Antonio I always intended to do some tournaments. I am extremely lucky in that one of my students Mike Campos, the Jiu-Jitsu Realtor, has been a partner with me since our first tourney. He always has good ideas and often comes at them in a differently light that I do. I think we balance each other out!
What makes the Gracie Grappling Cup different than other tourneys? What’s the philosophy behind how you guys run things the way you do?
We follow Helio Gracie’s rules for a tournament. I think this allows for some great things. Safety, too many tournaments seem to not care about the athlete’s safety. There are never knee bars and wristlocks even for black belts in our tournaments. The focus is on submissions that do not injure. I have been wrist locked in a tournament and I had to teach for 3 months with my wrist just jacked up! Imagine if I wasn’t a jiu-jitsu instructor! Your boss doesn’t want to hear that you can’t walk right because of a knee bar that occurred in your recreation time. For us safety is first and we always have fight doctors at our events. Also there is an emphasis on submissions – because we don’t allow stalling, our fights flow into submissions more naturally. As a result, our number of submissions is very high and that is how jiu-jitsu is supposed to be. Satisfaction is the main thing. We want our athletes, spectators and coaches to want to come to our next tournament because of the quality of the event.
How many events have you had now and what have you learned each time around?
This is our fourth GGC and we have learned a lot each time! Whether it’s what we announce in the beginning to the difference in better seating for everyone to see, concessions, etc. everything becomes a teachable moment.
Why are you excited about March 10th in particular?
Boerne is a beautiful town that we are looking forward to showcase. The high school is new and a great venue. I look forward to any chance to expand contacts in the jiu-jitsu world and to meet and compete with new and old friends. Tournaments are a payoff for all the hard trainings, a reward. Win or lose, there is no place I’d rather be!
What does it mean to you have Rhalan Gracie competing at this event?
Rhalan is like a brother to me and he continually inspires me with his dedication, sacrifice and humility. Anytime he is on the mats it is something to behold. Whoever faces him has to bring their A game.
Any other names to look forward to specifically?
I am entered in the under 175 pound division and we have a couple others that are going to keep it exciting. We are looking for any black belts especially locals that want to join us. Black belts register for free and the two divisions 175 and down and 176 and up each have a $500 purse! So come and play!
Why else should grapplers be excited about this one?
As always, Relson Gracie, an 8th degree red black belt and soon to be 9th degree red belt, will be there as our executive referee. He is as down to earth as you can get and always willing to take a picture and sign an autograph. I believe our rules make this the best tournament; takedowns must be judo style to receive 2 points, wrestling ones and tackles only an advantage. We penalize the Staller to keep the action flowing and our first concern is safety. So one doesn’t have to worry about unsafe submissions or ones that result in permanent injury. Our medals are always first quality, the shirts are super cool! There is nothing more fun than a tournament. It is one of the benefits and rewards to our hard training.
What does the future hold for Gracie Grappling Cup? Any other events scheduled or planned?
We are planning on holding at least four events each year. We already did one in Tyler in January, and of course this one on March 10th in Boerne, right outside San Antonio. Next up is a GGC in Waco and then back to San Antonio!
Anything else you’d like to add or topics I missed?
I just want to thank all of our sponsors, athletes, referees, volunteers and spectators because we do this for you. Come and try one of ours to see the difference from others! We know you will be satisfied. For more info www.graciegrapplingcup.com and thanks Mike for your coverage and attention!
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