I had the pleasure this past weekend of traveling down to Los Angeles to watch the Pan Kids tournament at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The level of Jiu-Jitsu displayed by these children always amazes me. I didn’t even start Jiu-Jitsu until I was ten years old and some of these kids are younger than that and have games that make them look like little purple belts. Our team did really well earning the top spot in the mighty might division and taking home the third place trophy for the Pee Wees.
I enjoyed my trip down to coach the kids but it was quite the whirlwind. I rode down with black belts Queixinho Augusto and Samir Chantre who were stoked to have the chance to spend all Saturday training with the Mendes Bros at their seminar in San Jose and ended up picking me up in Santa Cruz at 10:30 at night to begin our trip down south. We arrived in Carson at about 5:00 in the morning and slept in the car until it was time to head to the tournament. After coaching a few of our promising young students I passed off coaching duties to master Claudio Franca and some of the other instructors from our team who were also in attendance and caught a ride back home to Santa Cruz to get ready for another week of hard training before its time to compete again myself at the IBJJF San Francisco Open!
I’m really excited for this weekend where, among other matches that are sure to be exciting, I’m looking forward to a rematch with Sean Roberts from Ralph Gracie. I’m planning to make lightweight by the Abu Dhabi trials in San Diego and I’m well on my way to getting there but I won’t make it by this weekend and thus will be making another appearance in the middlweight division, hopefully my last of the year. I’m also planning on doing the open division and God willing I’ll be able to get a number of good fights and tons of experience between the two divisions. We’ve got a good team heading up from Coalition 95 as well with some tough high level competitors such as Carlos Melo and Tyson Kamp taking to the mat. Should be a good one so if you’re in the area make sure to come by Merrit College and check out the action!