7th Tinguinha BJJ In House Tournament:
A Competition in Review by Benjamin Bieker
As the sport of MMA continues to grow so does the disciplines that make it up. It seems now, more than ever, that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms have been popping up all over the place. Located off the 91 freeway, hidden in a complex of business buildings, in the town of Anaheim Hills is Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano’s own gym which is effectively called Tinguinha Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. Mauricio himself is one of the early transports from Brazil to America when he moved here in 2000. After many years under the Gracie Barra team he opened his own gym in 2002, and his academy recently held its 7th in house tournament.
The event hosted over 100 competitors from over 2o different schools, and there was a variety of matches ranging from kids barely 7 year olds to the highlight of the event which was two black belt super fights. If you ever have the chance you have to show up early for a tournament and watch the kids compete. It is easily one of the most entertaining aspects of any event. Watching kids as they stare down one of their first opponents, and yet go out there and have fun regardless of the outcome shows a true love for the sport. In one of the super fights Mauricio’s own black belt Grant Collins took on Jason Parry winning on a points advantage of 6 to 2.
The second super fight which can be viewed here (watch?v=fbwHpzU5jpY&feature=relmfu) was contested between Pedro Soriano and Rene Salazar. The fight between the two high level practitioners ended with Rene taking the win in a points advantage of 2 to 0. Their match epitomizes what BJJ is all about as Rene waited until the moment was right for him to utilize his game. As Pedro tried relentlessly to pass guard, Rene was able to sweep him and take side control from top. He was not able to do much with it as Pedro reestablished his guard, and the match ended there. This shows the principles you learn in any level one Jiu Jitsu class at work even at the highest level of the sport.
The rest of the tournament played out like a typical one starting a little late, names left off tourney sheets, matches between training partners, flaring emotions, depression after defeats, and friends and family alike cheering from the side lines. A highlight for some participants was probably the surprise appearance of UFC Middleweight contender Michael Bisping who came with his family to cheer on his son Kyle. Even though he was there for his son, who trains at the gym, in his own match Bisping gladly took pictures or signed autographs to any fan who came up to him.
The event held close the principal that all BJJ gyms have in common which is respect for the mat and your opponent. Teammates cornered each other even if they were in the same division, and in the end competed against one another if it came down to it. For tournament photos, results, and some match videos go to Tinguinha.com and head over to the news section to check it out yourself.