Ontario Open International JiuJitsu Championships 2013.
Words by: Mike Bryers
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May11th and May 12th marked the biggest BJJ tournament in Canada as the Ontario Open took place at a new location for the tournament at the Brampton Soccer Centre. This location is no stranger to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu though as it has played host to several tournaments before such as Grapplers Quest and the GTA Classic (formerly the Bravado Open). This is an excellent venue for tournaments as it has a raised bleacher section so you can watch all ten mats at the same time and have a great birds eye view of all the action. This won’t be the last time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will be at this arena.
The Ontario Open was the first tournament that was known for giving out trips as prizes to big events and this year was no different. This year there were ten trips given out to the IBJJF World Championships being held may29th to June 2nd in California. This gives a big opportunity to the top fighters in the area who otherwise couldn’t afford an expensive trip to go compete with the best in the world. This attracted some of the toughest competition that I have personally ever seen at a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament and the crazy thing was it was a local tournament.
In the previous article we talked about the tournament organizer: Fernando “Gringo” Zulick. Him and Justin Bruckmann are the main tournament organizers for the Ontario Open and both are actively involved in the planning of several tournaments in Ontario. Running a tournament this size is a very difficult task. Last year the Ontario Open got behind schedule because of the massive numbers of the participants who registered. When you have 1500+ competitors, running an on time tournament becomes a difficult task.
However this year not only was the tournament not behind schedule at any point, it was on schedule and the shocking part was the tournament was actually ahead of time at several points throughout the weekend. That is crazy to think that such a large tournament could be ahead of schedule when most tournaments are falling behind due to people being late to register, not finding participants etc.
Tournaments usually tend to fall behind when there are a lot of kids involved because sometimes they are hard to find before they fight, they arrive late etc. This year the kids tournament was the biggest I have personally ever seen where there were 300+ kids registered making this not only a world class tournament for adults but it also shows the growth of the sport in the younger divisions. The future is definitely bright for Brazilian Jiujitsu in Ontario.
The nogi section of this tournament was a little different this year. Instead of being separated by color belts they were separated by two divisions: novice and expert. The expert division used brown belt rules for all of their fights which meant most leg-locks except for heel hooks were legal. This is a definitely a game changing rule since at blue and purple belt they are usually not legal and not as widely practiced at lower belts.
The winners of the absolutes would win two nice shiny new Ontario Open championship belts and a whole lot of supplements. There were plenty of prizes to be won across all divisions from rash-guards and trips making this overall still the champion when it comes to elite level tournaments to do in the Ontario scene. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for this tournament because the Ontario Open sums it up it is the tournament to do in Ontario.