By TXMMA Staff
Texas Tournament Series Profile – Fight to Win / World Grappling Circuit
January 5, 2015 – Welcome to 2015 and the dawn of a new Texas BJJ and submission grappling tournament season! As the community heads into the new schedule TXMMA wanted to take the time to profile some of the organizations that you, the competitor, will have an opportunity to compete for this year. These are Texans holding events for Texans. More often than not, they have been supporting our BJJ community for some time and so we wanted to give them a chance to share their philosophies and plans with the community.
First up is Seth Daniels of Fight to Win / World Grappling Circuit. As you’ll read below, he and his business partner Brett Boyce have been around Texas running events for the better part of the last 5-7 years. Likewise, Seth is also a brown belt that will not hesitate to put on a gi midstream as he’s running his events and hop into his division to compete as well. Win or lose, he’s never shy about putting it out there. Needless to say he’s a passionate competitor / promoter and definitely someone TXMMA wanted to catch up with in preparation for his next tournament, January 24th in Houston.
Read on for TXMMA’s latest interview with Seth Daniels.
Interview with Seth Daniels (Fight to win / World Grappling Circuit)
Seth, thanks for talking to us as we kick off the 2015 tournament season. For our readers, tell us a little bit about your organization’s history and connection to Texas.
I grew up competing in Judo and wrestling tournaments in Texas as a teenager in Houston from 1994 to 2000. I moved to Colorado in 2000 and once I started to promote events I knew that I wanted to promote in Texas so I could see my friends and family more and give back to the martial arts community what I took from it as a child.
When did you start hosting events in the state?
Lone Star Tournaments/World Grappling Circuit (Brett Boyce) started putting on events in 2008 in Houston. Fight To Win came to Texas for the first time in 2010 in Austin. Later in 2010 Brett and I decided to merge companies. We did this because we felt that we both had a good product but we were constantly having to promote around each other. We decided to join forces and provide bigger and better run events.
What do you love about Texas grappling?
There are 3 things about Texas Grappling that I love. The first is the team pride and competition between academies. Teams come out in force for team titles and there is a lot of pride behind each association. The second thing is the coaches put it on the line. Black Belts go out on the mats and compete. This is so inspiring for their students and does not happen in other places. It makes the level of competition so high and it’s a great thing. Third is the people, Texans by nature are just great people to be around. The community is fairly tight-knit too. It’s a lot of fun to be at the tournaments and see everybody.
Headed into this new tournament season, what has F2W/WGC changed or what do you guys hope to stay consistent with in order to provide value to the competitors? In other words, what sets you apart?
I feel that we have done an excellent job of providing a great value to all of our events. I have created a simple to understand match number system and spent a ton of money on scoreboards that allow you to know exactly when and where you will be competing. We started doing double elimination for all of our events in 2014. We have to run on a very tight schedule in order to make the day run smooth and we’ve gotten great feedback on that. We have usually over 500 competitors and 1,100-1,300 matches per day. Most competitors usually get 3-4 matches per division. We go above and beyond on our awards to make sure that everyone is happy with the medals, and even give participation medals for all children to show our appreciation for them coming out and put it on the line.
With the additional improvements we have made our costs have gone up nearly 50% since we started promoting but that’s okay because it makes it better for our customers. We spend over $25k per event and since we keep our registration fees so low at $40 so if we don’t get at least 500 competitors per event we lose money. We put in a lot of work to lose money and be away from our families. We strive to be the best value in grappling, we do not want to charge more than $40 to compete, and we want everyone to be able to compete at our events. You shouldn’t have to spend a week’s salary for your family to attend a tournament.
When is your next Texas event? Where else are you going to be in 2015?
Our next two events are Tournament of Champions 15 Jan 24th in Houston and The Texas State Championships March 7th in Austin. Right now we promote tournaments in Austin, Houston and Dallas. We may go to San Antonio this year for the first time this year also.
Any parting words for Texas BJJ competitors and submission grapplers?
Please continue to support your locally owned and operated events. A lot of us have been around for years before these national brands started coming to take your money. We all want the same thing just to do our best at providing a great affordable experience. To provide a platform for you to grow your competition skills and to survive as a business. Thank you for all the support over the last 7 years and your continued support for the next 7.
Here’s a bonus video with a few techniques courtesy of Seth: