Competition Lifestyle in Toronto, Canada.
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A Competitors View on it.
Saturday October 13th marked the first time Grappling Industries brought their round robin format tournament to the GTA. It was probably 4x as big as any of the Montreal events have been, with teams from 4 different provinces and 4 states coming out. There were some minor growing pains, but all in all the event was a complete success.
Weigh-ins ran from 9pm-midnight on Friday night and also 6:30am – 9am for gi, and 9-2pm for nogi on Saturday. Some people didn’t like that people could weigh in the day before, because it gives them a better opportunity to cut weight and whatnot. A LOT of people showed up for the Friday night weigh in, so I think there are more people that like it then don’t. I personally took advantage of it, as did several of my teammates. It just meant less hassle for us the morning of, and not having to get up quite so early to weigh in. Weigh ins did start a few minutes late, but I think that was the venues fault. Once things were going it was a quick process and we were out of there by 9:45 or so, after spending about 15 minutes looking for ourselves on the draws that were already posted on the wall.
In the morning, weigh ins were quite busy, but the staff got everyone through in time. Many of the mats started exactly at 9am like scheduled, some started a few minutes after that, but everyone was going by 9:15 or so from what I saw. 2 referees that were scheduled to work didn’t make it out, and one didn’t make it out until nogi was started. This is a problem at a lot of tournaments, but I think the staff handled it well, and kept the mats running steady all day.
There were approximately 550 competitors (counting gi and nogi as separate people, which seems to be the standard). This lead to over 1000 matches for the day, over 11 mat areas. The tournament was done by 7pm, which i think is pretty good considering the scale of the event. 10 hours to run that many matches is pretty efficient! One thing i liked about the way the tournament ran was that the kids were on a couple of the mats and ran throughout the day, instead of the way a lot of tournaments do it by running the kids on all the mats at the beginning. I think by having them restricted to a couple mats, keeps everything running smoothly because there isn’t enough kids in a lot of the divisions to run them by themselves on a mat, so by keeping them to a couple mats, they can run more than one at a time and can be more efficient. It also means the adults don’t have to wait for all the kids to be done to compete.
The level of competition at this tournament was fierce! There was a lot of top level guys in the blue and purple divisions, and there even a good number of brown and black competitors, which is a rare site in Ontario. The women’s blue belt and up over 135 division had 5 people, but sadly, under 135 only had one. For the white belts, there was several competitors in each both divisions. I think the higher numbers in the purple,brown/black, and women’s blue and up divisions was due to the 4 trips to California that were being awarded to the absolute winners!
One interesting thing about the grappling co absolutes is that only the winners of the divisions get to go into the absolute, so it’s not the top 3 or 4, like most tournaments. I’m on the fence about whether this is a good or bad thing, it’s just different.
The winners of the trips were:
Women’s blue and up absolute: Nathalia Azoff from BTT/ Amaral BJJ in Boston
Men’s blue belt absolute : Nathan Dos Santos from Toronto BJJ
Men’s purple belt absolute: Matthew Pasquale from Toronto BJJ
Men’s Brown and Black absolute: Fernando Vieira from Evolucao
Congrats to these 4 competitors! They all had to win a LOT of matches to earn the trip and I hope they have a great time in California!
Some other interesting things about this tournament was that all of the tables and officials were in the middle of the the mats keeping the view of the mats unobstructed for the spectators. There also wasn’t any barricades blocking the view. This was cool, but it did mean as referees we had to keep shooing people off the mats. Most people were pretty cool about staying off the mats, so it wasn’t a big issue. The other great thing is that they had cameras on all the mats, and the videos will be posted to YouTube in the next couple weeks. Keep your eye on their YouTube channel to see the videos. There was some trouble with a few of the cameras but It’s still pretty neat and those troubles will be worked out a future events I’m sure. I hope the video of my matches turned out, i want to see how purple I turned from the brilliant bow and arrow choke Nathalia caught me in!
Congrats to the Grappling Co Team on a successful debut in Ontario. I’m looking forward to there future events in 2013. They’ve got a packed schedule for 2013 so as competitors we will never be sitting at home wishing we had somewhere to compete.
You can see their tentative schedule for 2013 in the GTA here: http://grapplingco.com/eventstg.html and in Montreal here: http://grapplingco.com/eventsmg.html .
Coming up for tournaments in the Ontario / Quebec area:
Oct 20th and 21st – Ottawa Open Ottawa (OJA)
November 10th – Montreal Grappling Montreal (AGQ)
November 24th – Ontario Provincials Toronto (OJA)
December 1st –Grapplers Quest North America Championships London (OGA)
All 4 of these events are going to be worth attending! Ottawa is giving away a few trips to worlds, Montreal is featuring an great 4 person purple belt super fight tournament, the provincials are giving away a few trips to worlds, and grapplers quest is always fun with their unique rule set(they haven’t announced any prizes yet).
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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/