Lutador Challenge – September 18, 2010

Win or Lose , it’s hard to walk away from the Lutador tournament without acknowledging its helpful staff, organized brackets and the action packed fights that occurred on September 18, 2010. Led by Jason Evangilista, and tons of other great guys( and ladies) kept things running smoothly , as soon as I walked in I could see the staff hard at work , preparing for a long days worth of competition. I was welcomed by Jason shortly after arriving; he showed me around and introduced me to head Referee Armon Barros ,very nice guy but my shyness was at an all time high, when I introduced myself. He had even taken the time out to hold a referee training course the night before. The tournament itself was held at a very nice facility in Marietta, Georgia, with signs pointing you in the right direction, a step sometimes forgotten that really makes a difference,. Also with an observation deck which included a bracket wall, concessions, merchandise, and another staff table in the corner it was quite the setup. Also, to keep things in check, there was a competitor’s only bull pen, to warm up and where they called the groups together, beginner kids to advanced adults, all in gi or nogi. They then went over a few rules then continued to separate them according to weight, and sent them on their way to whichever mat was set up. Set up to where strictly coaches, staff and press only could be on the mats, there was actually walking room off the mat, and made it easier for everyone to maneuver. 


There were some world class matches going on that day. Including packed women’s bracket and kids grappling all over the place. The top three teams on the mat were x3 and knuckle up,but  Alliance scored the team trophy. Rafael Dos Santos took the Advanced Open Bracket, with very impressive matches throughout.  Megan Nevill was a force to be reckoned with winning, the Women’s open division and her own weight division. It was nice to be able to powwow with the Alliance ladies who are tough fighters and very down to earth.


Be sure to check the Lutador  website for all of the results, plus  the link to pictures from the event! I also had the honor of sharing the mat with April Robinson, another Alliance grappler and brown belt under Romero Jacare Cavalcanti, who was just getting back into tournament mode after a long battle recovering from a torn ACL. She was truly inspiring and a fierce competitor, who took the time out to show me a nasty armbar variation that I had barely slipped out of earlier in our match. The tournament  seemed to be a huge success, and there were tons of incredible matches that day and I wish I could comment on them all. Next Lutador tournament that comes your way, I wouldn’t miss out.  I left the tournament tired, thrilled with the new additions to my growing bjj family, but most of all very impressed with the well ran competition and the level of Jiu Jitsu I had witnessed that day.



Peace.Love. & Armbars

Arika Winchester

Memphis Judo and JiuJitsu (

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