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Thoughts and Rambles From the 2010 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships

Monstro is back from the Mundials!  He won his first match in the purple belt Pasado division by submission, and unfortunately broke his rib during the second.  Monstro being Monstro, he shrugged off medics, and finished the match losing on points to the guy who won 2010 Pan Ams both in his weight class, and absolutes.  I cleaned up his post-Mundials comments below.  He's a tough S.O.B., but apparently they didn't teach grammar on the rural Hawaiian island where he grew up.

- King

  • Roger Gracie became the first three-time absolute Mundial champion in addition to (of course) winning at weight!  This guy is unbeatable, and possibly the best ever.  I worry that he will pull a Michael Jordan, decide that BJJ is no longer a challange, and take up Tai Quan Do.

 

  • Speaking of Roger, Demente (who, incidentially has the coolest nick name in all of BJJ) put up an oustanding fight against Roger in the Super Pesado final.  He began with a sweep, ended up losing 13 – 2, but was the only competitor not be submitted by Roger in the tournament.  After the match, I saw him look to God and give a big "thank you!" fist pump which means a non-submission loss to Roger Gracie is the closest thing to a win we will ever see.

 

  • Gabrielle Garcia (above, right) is gigantic!  She receieved her black belt on the podium from Fabio Gurgel after winning brown/black heavyweight division.  She promptly ate the black belt and demanded another "this time, with hot sauce."

 

  • The fight of the tournament took place in the quarterfinals of the Purple Belt Absolute division.  Alec "Don't call me Baldwin" Balding – Middleweight from Alliance vs Willie Leonard – Ultra Heavy from Lloyd Irvin.  Alec caught the big man with an arm bar from omoplata transition, demonstrating amazing technique!  I should note that Willie received his purple belt only two weeks ago, however, he was also a D1 wrestler at Kent State, a sport providing a somewhat better base of grappling knowledge than, say, hurling.  That being said, Alec's talent is simply amazing.  I remember training with Alec at Alliance when I was a new blue belt in 2007.  His skills impressed me then, and blow me away now!  You heard it here, first, these two are going to be among the top American BJJ stars in in the next few years.

 

  • Thank you Cobrinha!  You have brought BJJ forward light years with your innovations!  Best of luck in your new pursuits!

 

  • The next up-and-coming BJJ team is the Gracie Elite Team, a combination of Rillion, Ryan, Cesar, Renzo, Ralph, and Gordo, all of whom are old school Gracie Barra war horses.  It will be interesting to hear what Carlinhos thoughts are on this, but whatever they are, they will be in Portuguese, and so I will not be able to understand them until they are translated.

  • Alliance is the best team in the world!  There, I said it.  They have won the Mundials three years in a row, and just missed out on winning all the major IBJJF titles this year.  Their lone blemish was losing the Brazilian Nationals to Checkmat a month ago.  I have a ton of respect for Alliance’s team unity.  Watching them compete during the Mundials, it was clear that they were a true team, and not just a collection of individuals.  At every single belt level, they consistantly brought the largest cheering section.

 

  • Kayron Gracie has a very bright future ahead of him.  As a newly minted black belt, he already has won Pan Ams and placed 3rd in the Mundials!

 

  • Marcelo Garcia is awesome!  In arguably the deepest division in the world’s, and possibly in the history of the worlds, Marcelo mowed through the field and beat Claudio Calasans in the finals of the middleweight division.  Nice work!

 

  • Gui Mendes' upset in the early rounds was a huge surprise!  Things didn’t start well for him.  He was caught in a very deep triangle, but broke free before the match ended with a tie in advantage points. His opponent was awarded the victory.

 

  • Lloyd Irvin, in spite of his relentless emails (you know what I'm talking about if you are on his mailing list), is doing something special on the east coast!  It seemed as that ALL of his athletes medaled in their divisions. 

  • I was inconsalable when I heard that Nino Schembri was injured, and could not compete in this year's Mundials.  Heal up, Nino, we want to see you back on the mat and competing!

 

  • Speaking of healing, best wishes to Rominho for a speedy recovery!

 

  • Xande losing in the absolute semis to Barral was a personal disappointment.  I was rooting for Barral, but the fan in me wanted to see a Roger vs Xande final.

 

  • Faria, in case anyone hasn't told you this, you have a sweet half guard game!

 

  • Cyborg’s last second win against Braga Neto was one of my favorite moments of the Mundials!  Cyborg was down 8 – 0, and caught Neto with a triangle with a little over a minute left!

 

  • The Cobrinha vs Mendes match went as expected.  It was another 50/50 snoozer that got exciting with 2 minutes left when Cobrinha went for a toe hold which was returned by Mendes.  Is there a training regimin for double jointedness?  Did they both repeatedly break their ankles leading up to this competition to be able to withstand their toes touching their shins?  How didn't either one of them tap?  Personally, I think the 50/50 is a legit part of the new BJJ game, but something has to be done about its stalling tactics.  I don’t make the rules, but I think heel hooks should be reintroduced at the black belt level.  Although an admittedly innovative guard, it does detract from the overall jiu jitsu game. 

 

  • Xande's loss to Faria in the Pesado finals was surprising.  It was the old Pesado King (Xande) vs the New Pesado King (Faria).  Faria has been performing oustanding since recieving his black belt last year, adding the Mundials title to his Brasileros and Pan Medals.  Interestingly, Xande's loss meant that he did not break Fabio Gurgel’s record for most Pesado gold medals.

 

 

  • Per tradition, there were copious amounts of hot guys (and girls) walking around.  If there isn't a BJJ dating web site out there, someone should start one up.