A double Review on a Canadian BJJ event: GTA CLASSICS of BJJ
FOR PICTURES OF THE EVENT PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK: “HERE”
Reviewed by Mike
September 21st 2012 marked a new era in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Ontario. The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) classic was born. Now bigger and better than ever, this tournament originally took place last year and this year at the Brampton Soccer Center. This location also caught the eye of Grapplers Quest organizers earlier this year and they also hosted a tournament in this location earlier this summer. Numerous soccer,basketball and wrestling tournaments call the Brampton Soccer Center home now since it is perfect for viewing with it’s own set of bleachers and stands on the 2nd floor.
The event itself hosted 400 competitors across kids,junior,adult and masters divisions and attempted to draw the female women of BJJ into the tournament fold. Eight samurai swords were given away to absolute winners and each absolute in the blue,purple and women’s divisions were split up to give out more prizes to include more lighter fighters to do their own absolute division.
You can tell the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is still growing in Ontario from the turnout at this event. This was evident in the purple belt divisions which all had amazing turnouts for such a local tournament. Usually you see a very significant decline in competitors from blue to purple belt. People compete less, have more injuries etc. so they do not compete as much on the local circuit instead taking their talents more internationally. This is a very good sign for not just tournament but locally to the tournament circuit in Ontario seeing such high caliber fighters competing on a regular basis.
What was most impressive was the staff of this tournament. Run by the local OJA members, they know how to handle even the smallest problems at the event. Everybody complains about tournaments running too long, tournaments starting an hour late or their division being called hours after it is suppose to be called but one thing that was stressed about this tournament was that it will start on time at 930am sharp (and it succeeded). The tournament only ran late by about either 30 minutes or less the entire day which is very impressive for a tournament of this size. You have to expect delays with big tournaments when you go to compete and if you are a competitor need to exercise some patience. This reflects well on the staff of the tournament and shows what a great job they can do in organization of divisions.
Overall the tournament scene is growing and everybody is ready to compete. Next on the OJA schedule is the Ottawa International Open which plans on giving away trips to the IBJJF mundials held next May. This guarantees a lot of high level competitors will be making the trip to our nations capital. See everyone there.
Written by: Mike Bryers
Mike Bryers is an active BJJ competitor and Blue belt under Dan Moroney at Bravado Jiu Jitsu/Gracie Woodbridge. He is also a graduate BS.c Honours in kinesiology from York University.
Make sure to check him out on his Blog: http://www.everythingwithmike.wordpress.com/
Reviewed by Patricia
Saturday Sept 22nd was the Annual GTA Classic! The OJA is stepping things up and I like it!
They had 8 mats running, pretty smoothly for most of the day I was there. The reffing was decent, I saw a few interesting calls, but not enough, and not that bad that I would say the reffing was bad. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst by a long shot.
All the staff was friendly and efficient, and put up with me trying to rush them along as much as I was. I’m normally really patient at tournaments and don’t care if they run late or whatever, but I had to head to work and I felt like such an ass when I was asking about my division start time 10 minutes after it was scheduled to start. The only reason it didn’t start on time was because there was a bit of a discussion with the lightweight blue division that needed to be sorted out before we could do the absolute.
The tournament was really well attended on the kids, masters, and adult men’s side of things, but the ladies division were super sparse! There was 10 registered, but only 8 competed. that is so sad. It’s not the tournaments fault, l it’s a weird situation and we need to work together to find a solution!! The white belt ladies were worse off than the blue, which is quite unusual. I only saw 1 division that competed, but there may have been 1 other. The lightweight division had 2 women in it, and the heavyweight had 1. One of the lightweights, my teammate Heather, stepped up to fight in the absolute with the heavyweight girl. They had a great match and I was happy to see everyone who showed up get a chance to fight.
I was really impressed with the level of jiu jitsu that was happening in the kids divisions. Some people were complaining that the kids divisions don’t have subs, but I don’t see a problem with it at all. Position before Submission folks :). While watching the kids divisions that allowed subs (11 and up or something) I was really impressed with the amount of control, and the technique they used to apply the subs. The referees were right on top of the kids matches doing a great job to keep everyone safe.
I didn’t get to see a lot of the adult competition, but from what I saw, competition was fierce! I caught a few of the purple belt matches and was really impressed. There was more purple belts there then I’ve seen at a lot of tournaments lately. It’s cool to see that many come and compete. BJJ in Ontario is growing like crazy and its good to see that the higher up guys are able to compete at the local tournaments now.
There were a few things about the GTA Classic that really stood out to me:
1. They were collecting donations for the food bank, and had a raffle with some cool prices for the donators.
2. They were giving away kingz kimonos and samurai swords to the absolute winners. Those are great prizes and I think it encourages more people to try the absolute.
3. It ran pretty much on time! Most divisions were called within 10-15 minutes of the time they were scheduled to start, the only exception being the ladies blue absolute, but that was due to some complications with one of the divisions that had to be sorted out before we could do the absolute.
Coming up in Ontario: The Toronto Grappling Grand Prix on October 13th, The Ottawa Open on October 20th and 21st , JCC JUNIOR COMBAT CLASSIC Nov 10th and Grapplers Quest North American Championships on December 1st. Provincials are also coming up, sometime, probably December, originally Nov 23/24th. Keep your eyes open on Facebook for an announcement from the OJA guys soon.
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/
FOR PICTURES OF THE EVENT PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK: “HERE”