I had the fortune to attend the Gracie Nationals on Saturday, Gi Day. Thanks Rose Gracie for hooking BJJ Legends Magazine up with press passes to the event. Rose smart, woman that she is, ran the matches in belt order so the black belts were in and done first thing in the morning and the white belts were the last to go later that evening.
The longest match in Gracie Nationals history went to Adult Men 146-155 pound purple belts Adrian Montemayor and Michael Ledesma who rolled for 80 minutes. Ledesma victorious. Montemayors wife also had a long match, read here.
Gracie National 2013 sponsors included One Coconut water (http://www.onedrinks.com/) and Undergi (http://undergi.com/). Through generous contributions, Gracie Nationals was able to donate $300 to Child Hope International (http://childhope.org/). Child Hope International is an organization to help orphaned children in Haiti.
Congratulations to Melissa Davis on her women’s blue belt win after a long 30 minute match against Stephany Pulido. Although, it would be her last competition as blue belt, she was promoted to purple last Saturday.
Novel and well thought out was the kids “mats.” This area was two cordoned off mats where the kids could either run around (area 1) or do crafts (area 2).
Fame, fortune and celebrity in attendance included January 12 Strikeforce winner Josh Barnett, world champion Ranato Laranja, and Pat "Hawk" Hardy.
Now on to the LA FitExpo. If you don’t know already the Gracie Nationals takes place inside of the Los Angeles Fitness Expo at the LA Convention Center downtown. The FitExpo is attended by tens of thousands of people into all of types of fitness. Walking around never fails to entertain.
January 19th 2013 at the Gracie Nationals, Adrian Montemayor placed second in an epic 80-minute match. Adrian is a purple belt under Dartanian. Also that Saturday Stephany Pulido placed second in the women’s blue belt division after a 30-minute match. Stephany also trains under Dartanian.
And… They’re married! Adrian Montemayor and Stephany Pulido are a husband and wife Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team. Curious because Saturday, gi day, the longest men’s match, and in fact the longest match in Gracie Nationals history and the longest woman’s match of the day went to a husband and wife team.
After a little Q&A I found out that not only do the couple train Jiu-Jitsu with Dartanian but they are also avid Crossfiters. Coaching Crossfit, not so coincidentally, is Dartanian’s second job at Crossfit Waza in North Hollywood.
Adrian and Stephany I am humbled by your great accomplishment.
(Los Angeles, Calif…November 29, 2012) Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling tournaments will be front and center as The Gracie US Nationals return for their sixth year to the West Coast’s largest fitness event, TheFitExpo Los Angeles, Saturday and Sunday, January 19-20, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, West Halls A & B.
As always, Rose Gracie will work in conjunction with the TheFitExpo to create the ideal environment and venue for a top-notch competition. TheFitExpo is bringing industry leaders together for a weekend of Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, fitness challenges and much more. On Saturday, January 19 at 12 noon, Rose Gracie will present their annual Achievement Award to the recipient who best represents the standards of the sport set forth by Grandmaster Helio Gracie.
“We’re honored to once again be working with Rose Gracie from the legendary Gracie family on hosting The Gracie US Nationals at our 10th Anniversary event,” said TheFitExpo Executive Director, Erin Ferries. “She always brings a classic competition that unites participants and attendees.”
In January 2012, Gracie made significant changes to the rules of both adult and children's competitions at The Gracie US Nationals, as her desire was to bring back the original Jiu-Jitsu that her grandfather, Grandmaster Helio Gracie, envisioned from the beginning. Gracie switched the point system to a submission-only event. This prevents several issues that were previously faced in competition and it gives the competitor 100% power over the outcome of the match. Also, in an effort to keep the sport pure, random testing of competitors for performance enhancing drugs will be done again this year.
"You know that when a guy is a champion in our event he has SUBMITTED EVERYONE!" -- Rose Gracie
Rose, graciously, in her spare time, answered a few questions from our readers about the upcoming, Submission Only, Gracie Nationals Jiu-Jitsu Tournament.
1) How is early registration going? Because its a sub only tournament are more people signing up or are they timid?
Registration is doing well as usual... I think people are more excited about it and there is definitely big buzz. I think it will be a very amazing tournament in the end.
2) Gracie Nationals is the same weekend as the Euros, will this affect who you draw to the tournament?
Not at all… Seems to me that most people here actually don't want to spend the extra $3000 to go to Europe. Just kidding though. Someone can host an event the same day and time as us because our competitors leave our event with so much more then just another Jiu-Jitsu competition. We have been very fortunate because of it.
3) Random Drug Testing? Like peeing in a cup? Are you looking for Marijuana?
No, we're not looking for Marijuana at all, we are more interested in things that would give a person an unfair advantage over other competitors, like steroids for instance.
4) What do you do if after 15 minutes there hasn't been a submission? Are both players DQ'd? What happens to the bracket?
Both Players go home at this point. Eventually we would like to implement a second bracket for those guys but dont want to rush into this new system too much. We'll play by ear. There is a possibility there will be no winners on a certain bracket. HOWEVER you know that when a guy is a champion in our event he has SUBMITTED EVERYONE!! and THAT my friends is a true Jiu-Jitsu champion.