By: Ro McAlpine 1812 Fitness & Martial Arts Academy
For those international readers that are not familiar with the Ascension open it is one of Canada’s longest running BJJ events. The event is held at a high school every year in Scarborough Ontario.
The tournament has now has become a two day event because of its popularity. Even so the venue is becoming a little too tight for the event. But that is a good thing because that means not only has the tournament grown in popularity but so has the sport.
The event kicked off with Professor Omar Salvosa (Carlson Gracie Black Belt and Head Instructor for Team Ascension) welcoming the competitor and telling us the history of the event. He told the crowed the event started in February 2006 only days after his Mestre Carlson Gracie had passed away and that the tournament still lives on in his memory.
Day 1 was the Adults gi and it brought out some amazing competitors at all skill levels. As the day progressed it flowed really well and stayed on time. We also got to see the x championships which featured some of the Top Competitors from Ontario and Quebec. Custom medals and trophies were presented to competitors and overall it was an amazing experience.
Day 2 included the Kids/You/Teens gi and Adult No gi matches. When the day kicked off there was a long line up for kids weigh ins. When they were calling kids 1 several kids 2& 3 lined up for weigh ins with their parents and this caused delays. Kids also showed up over weight and in the wrong belt level which also caused delays as the event staff worked really hard to make the corrections on the fly. I did hear rumblings in the crowed about the delays but admit the event staff handled it well.
The kids divisions were all very big and it brought out some amazing competitors. Things started to catch back up with the Adult no gi and I have to admit there was some amazing matches. The Reffing staff were all high level refs that I could not make any complaints about.
I was having a discussion with a student even before walking into the competition area and one of the refs overheard us speaking about the rule set. He walked over and politely clarified the rule we were speaking about. The medals flowed pretty well and there was food and refreshments available at the venue.
I do have to admit that the event was a success and I saw a lot of big smiles on both kids and adult competitors faces… What matters most about a tournament is not the gold medal but having a positive experience. If you can walk away and say you had a good time the event was a success… and I can say “I had a good time”
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