Jiu-Jitsu & the Golden Gate: IBJJF’s inaugural San Francisco Open Championship debuts this Sunday

The San Francisco Bay Area has been an emerging meca for jiu-jitsu in the United States, renowned for it’s high level of instruction and for the number of top rated black belts who call the area home. Some of the art’s most well known black belts, including Ralph Gracie, Cesar Gracie and Claudio França, as well as dozens of their respective black belts head successful academies, which are also breeding grounds for some of the top competitive teams in sport jiu-jitsu.  Coupled with the fact that the Bay Area is also home to popular tournaments like the U.S. Open and American Cup, over the last couple decades the area has quickly become a stomping ground for some of the best instructors and practitioners in the sport.


Affirmation of the strong jiu-jitsu presence in “The Bay” came just a few months ago when the IBJJF announced that the organization would add the San Francisco Open Championships to its select roster of worldwide cities, with the inaugural championship taking place on February 26, 2012.  


Some big names slated to compete this weekend include well-known local black belts Kurt Osiander of Ralph Gracie and Gracie Fighter members Samir Chantre, Queixinho Augusto and Flavio Meier.


In the brown belt middleweight division, Ralph Gracie ace Sean Roberts and Coalition 95’s Nathan Mendelsohn will face off in a match sure to garner the attention of the local crowd. Earlier this week, on his blog post for OntheMat.com, Mendelsohn said, “I’m looking forward to a rematch with Sean Roberts.”


The tournament will be held at Merritt College in the neighboring city of Oakland. Go to www.ibjjf.org for address & more details. For brackets, http://www.ibjjf.org/cgi-bin/montachaves.asp. For the tournament schedule http://www.ibjjf.org/cronosanfrancisco2012.htm

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Christie Sullivan