The Montreal Abu Dhabi Pro Trials went down this past weekend in the lovely city on Montreal, Quebec. Like last year, an insane snow storm made travel to the tournament extremely difficult, and even impossible for some. A plethora of traffic accidents caused highway closures and the snow caused unending flight delays and cancellations.
In the end, the tournament organizers extended weigh ins until midnight, and allowed for same-day weigh ins if anyone couldn’t make it to that. That’s pretty much the best anyone could as for and I think it covered pretty much everyone that could make it out.
The tournament hotel was the usual holiday inn midtown. This is a pretty good hotel, that seems to love BJJ. The rooms are functional and clean, the beds are comfortable, and the rates are affordable. Personally, I didn’t stay there for this trip. We opted to stay at the Auberge Universal, which is right across from the tournament venue. It’s a comparable hotel, and we preferred to be close to where we would need to be all weekend, rather then where we needed to be just for weigh ins. Also, they have free parking, compared to the fairly expensive parking at the holiday inn.
Weigh ins went smoothly all around, as far as I could tell. They had the draws posted on the wall, which was a nice touch. They also had a table full of jugs of water and cups, which the athletes who had been cutting weight greatly appreciated, I’m sure.
The tournament started pretty close to on time. We arrived a few minutes after start time and there was already a black belt fight going on! The format was top down. So black belts first, then purple, then blue, then white. It’s kind of nice for the black belts to get it done and over with, but it also means there is hardly anyone there to watch them! On the flip side, there were very few people left in the venue when the white belts were wrapping up.
Day 1 consisted of the regular divisions for the purple and down, and also the first few rounds of their absolutes. Also, the first rounds of the black belt divisions, until the semis, were done on day 1. Then day 2 was all the semis and finals. It was really nice for day 2, because they moved the mats from a 4 ring layout to a single ring. It was gigantic with a huge safety area. Ideal for fights like the ones that happened on Sunday.
The level of competition at this event is always the highest of any event in Canada. Top competitors from Ontario, Quebec, New York and even farther come out to try to win a trip to Abu Dhabi. Only 13 of the 300 competitors realized that dream and a lot of people went home with things to work on for next year.
A couple things I noticed while watching the events.
1. They were being very strict on what was allowed under peoples gis. I saw more then one fight stopped mid match, and the fighter had to take of the tights they had under their pants. I really don’t see how tights would affect a match, but they were very strict on that.
2. They were being very strict on belts being tied. A few times fights were stopped in the middle just to tie belts back on. Nothing like killing the momentum. I saw a few fights that the re-starts from this went badly and guards were past or people were swept that I am certain wouldn’t have happened without the restart.
3. They were NOT being picky about gi sleeve length. It looked like a few people were wearing 3/4 length sleeves, or short sleeves. It’s weird to be so picky about things that don’t matter, and then allow some of those gis to be worn.
4. The quality of refereeing was all over the place. I know refereeing is a hard job, I’ve experienced it. I try not to give other referees a hard time, but man, some of the calls that were made really made me scratch my head. There were several decisions that I was wondering if i was watching the same fight! That being said, there were also some very good decisions made and a lot of very tricky fights to referee.
5. There was an unusual amount of gi rippage happening. I saw at least 5 pairs of pants ripped in one day. Those are seriously weird odds. Normally you hear about 1 or 2 pairs in a long day tournament. This weekend was not long days. Not even 300 competitors over 2 days. I’m curious what the underlying cause is for this. People wearing their favourite gi? People being extra intense with their grips? Who knows.
6. Overall the tournament was very well run. It ran on schedule,was smooth sailing as far as I could see and generally 10000X better then then New York Trials.
I took a bazillion pictures while I was there, since I couldn’t compete.: Click the link below:
by Patricia VanderMeer ( GP Event Correspondent )
Patricia is a VERY active Competitor and always has a great attitude. We are so very proud to have her by our side. Oss.
Check her blog at:http://jiujitsuaddict.blogspot.ca/
Here is a list of the trip winners:
Female Blue Belt light : Yacinta Nguyen-Huu (Scott Schilling BJJ)
Male Blue Belt Light: Hassan Salifu (Toronto BJJ)
Male Blue Heavy: Patrick Walsh (Wai Kru)
Female Purple: Dominyka Obelenyte (Marcelo Garcia Academy)
Male Purple Light: Mansher Khera (Marcelo Garcia Academy)
Male Purple Heavy: Jonathan Satava (Marcelo Garcia Academy)
Female Purple–Brown-Black: Tammi Musumeci (Alliance )
Male Brown/Black Light: Darson Hemmings (Open Mat MMA)
Male Brown/Black Heavy: lee Villeneuve (Brazilian Top Team)
Male Black Light: Jonathan Torres (Loyd Irvin)
Male Black Ultra Heavy: Dan Simmler (Renzo Gracie)
Male Black Middle: Paulo Bruno Chermont Azambuja (Avengers)
Yacinta Nguyen-Huu (Scott Schilling BJJ) x Sissi Phatsana (Brazilian Top Team)
Dominyka Obelenyte (Marcelo Garcia Academy) X Alison Tremblay (Brazilian Top Team)
Ashley Proctor (Gracie Barra) xAlison Tremblay (Brazilian Top Team)
Marie Fanton (Gracie Barra)x Tammi Musumeci (Alliance )
NICE SUB: Richard Bondoc (Bruckmann MMA) x Rodrigo Pinheiro (Gracie Humaita)
NICE SUB: JT Torres (Lloyd Irvin) VS Aniss El Hajjajy (Brazilian Top Team)
CRAZY SUB ESCAPES: Mansher Khera (Marcelo Garcia Academy) X Olivier Kee-Seng (Sampa BJJ)
Jonathan Satava (Marcelo Garcia Academy) x Vincent Duhamel (Brazilian Top Team)
Darson Hemmings (Open Mat MMA)x Isac Chaves (Nova Uniao)
SWEET SUB: Daniel Savery (Best Way BJJ)xlee Villeneuve (Brazilian Top Team)
Paulo Azambuja (Avengers) VS Brian Beaury (Machado BJJ)
FINALS: Renan borges (Brazilian Top Team)X Jonathan Torres (Loyd Irvin)
FINALS: Pere Okotete – Briggs (Loyd Irvin)x Jonathan Satava (Marcelo Garcia Academy)
FINALS: Alessandro Roman Camargo (Toronto BJJ)xMansher Khera (Marcelo Garcia Academy)
This match is just awesome. At the end, such emotion and Sportsmanship.. Just very touching…also what a great display of JiuJitsu and Love and Passion. Oss To the Both of you guys. Big BOW!!!!!
GP TEAM OSSSSSSSS