The Second IGJJF Open

The Second IGJJF Open Lynwood, California 8/28/2004

The Second IGJJF Open A few minor changes, a few major changes, and the Second International Gracie Jiu Jitsu Federation was underway in Lynwood, California. The most notable change was the man calling the shots, as tournament organizer and really, the mastermind behind the growth of both Jiu Jitsu and MMA in the United States, Rorion Gracie seemed content to delegate many of the responsibilities to son Rener Gracie, who did a fine job, as the IGJJF continues to set new standards in organization. The prizes offered were stellar as well: An all expense paid trip aboard a "Gracie Cruise", basically a luxury cruise with the Gracie Family ((including Grandmaster Helio) for training and learning! Also, the rules were modified slightly from the first tournament as well. Time limits were imposed as matches would now be capped at thirty minutes in length, and a modified point structure was used to emphasize submissions. Also, more controversially, the slamming rule was in effect for purple belt and above. That is a fighter could "slam" an opponent in the guard or to escape positions. In addition, it was great to see so many familiar and famous faces at the tournament. Helio Gracie himself was present to watch over his family and the progress of the sport he has dedicated his life to. Both Kid and Mrs. Peligro made it to this tournament, and Pat "Hawk" Hardy brought his team out from Texas and served as referee! In addition, Hollywood celebrities Ed O` Neil and Michael Clarke Duncan were in attendance. The first day consisted of the white and purple open weight divisions, and the brown and blue divisional tournaments. Standouts included Jeff "the Pipelayer" Glover, who submitted Mike Weaver in the finals of the Purple Open with a crazy collar choke which had Jeff hanging off completely from the opposite side of the collar to get the submission. Ryan Gregg won the brown belt medium heavy division, submitting all of his opponents including a very game Steve Magdaleno in the finals. On the second day, the brackets were reversed, and the blue and brown weight categories commenced, and the white and purple weight classes took place. Elliot Marshall captured his second first place in two days by winning the brown belt absolute. Mike Weaver came back with a vengeance in the heavy weight category, submitting Ralek Gracie. And teammates Bill "the Grill" Cooper and Jeff Glover decided to go at it rather than simply close the bracket, and Bill Cooper gets the narrow but well deserved victory. Special notice to our good buddy Mike "Hobbit" Strangis, who although he was perpetually outweighed, even in his own weight class, managed to submit six out of seven opponents in the white belts, only losing on points in the open some fifty pounds heavier! The Black Belt division: Originally scheduled were three weight divisions: A light (under 170), middle (under 200) and heavyweight division (over 200). The heavyweight division was to feature a match between Ryron Gracie and Travis Lutter (who had defeated Ryron to take the title at the Ultimate Submission showdown). However, the day of the tournament it was clear that Travis was in no condition to fight (it wasn`t even clear how he made the plane ride over looking as ill as he did). Thus after conferring with the competitors, it was decided to make a Black Belt open division, as they only other competitors in the Black Belts were the lightweights: who all agreed to step up to the challenge of fighting the much larger Ryron. Ryron Gracie vs Joao Cunha Cunha initiates a single leg takedown, and Ryron stands there looking amused at first until Cunha nicely sweeps the other leg for the takedown. Ryron very quickly reaches over Cunha`s back and tosses him over into side control. From here Ryron very methodically works into an armbar, first establishing the attack, and then waiting for the right moment to straighten the arm, thus garnering the tapout. Cameron Earle vs Frederico Sabbatini- The two fighters circle each other cautiously for about twenty seconds before Cameron initiates an inside trip. Cameron immediately passes guard and secures an arm for the tap out about forty seconds into the match! Joao Cunha vs Frederico Sabbatin This match occurred almost immediately after the Cameron vs Sabbatini match. Cunha came out very aggressively before pulling guard. Cunha attempts an armbar, which Frederico easily defends, who then looks to pass. The match goes back to the feet however and remains there for a while before Cunha drives for a double leg takedown, landing in Sabbatini`s guard out of bonds. The match is restarted in the center of the mat from the guard and Cunha wastes no time in trying to pass. Cunha eventually does, and the two have rolled out of bounds again and are restarted in the side control position from the center. Cunha goes for an armbar from the side, but Frederico holds on tight and is able to roll on top to defend. Frederico escapes and the match goes to the fee again. After another long tie up Cunha pulls guard again, but gets the sweep very quickly. Frederico very nearly pulls off the sweep, but Cunha quickly comes back on top and is able to pass the guard again. Frederico establishes a half guard, but Cunha passes again. Frederico is able to get out of side control, but Cunha once again simply walks around the guard. At this point Cunha is way up on points but is concerned, he clearly does not want to win based on getting 12 points, he`s looking for the submission! Frederico reestablishes a half guard again, and rather than trying to pass Cunha applies a collar choke. Frederico defends and Cunha gets past yet again for the shut out victory around the 12 minute mark. Ryron Gracie vs Cameron Earle- The special provision was announced that this match would not be determined on points if at all possible and the twelve-point rule was suspended; the match would go to the 30-minute time limit if there was no submission. The match begins with Ryron getting a singleleg takedown on Cameron for a point, by Cameron immediately sweeps Ryron to get the point back. Ryron tries to pull Cameron into a triangle choke, but Cameron has the hook killed pretty well and works for a low pass. Ryron does a good job of defending and both wind up on their feet. Cameron jumps to guard, HUGE mistake, as Ryron gathers up Cameron`s lapels, picks him up over his head and slam him! Cameron is knocked unconscious and the match is called. Cameron would later be taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure and was diagnosed with a mild concussion, but would be competing again in two weeks. For more information on the IGJJF, visit For the official RATED results, visit What did you think of the IGJJF tournament! What do you think of the "slamming" rule? Comments and letters will be published in a future column on! E-mail with your opinions!

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