July 2, 2013

2013 Jean Jacques Machado Canadian Open

Trevor finally caught me! 
Here I am damn near 36 hours removed from my first trip to the 3rd Annual Jean Jacques Machado Canadian Open in Windsor Ontario, and honestly I am not sure I can coherently give a solid review.  I have made so many new friends and had such a great time I am not sure I can do it all justice and really capture the moment, but with a dose of insomnia and a few local micro brews in me I am happy to give it a go.

First and foremost a big "Obrigado" goes out to Ron Dupuis for running a great weekend of BJJ action!  Both the seminar and the tournament started on time, ran smoothly and overall were great events.  Honestly IBJJF take note... though this tournament may shy to you in comparison of numbers, I did not witness one blown call all day from these referee's whom BTW have not been "professionally trained" by you.  Thank you Ron for bringing Jean Jacques to Canada and the midwest.  And if you are in the area make sure you train with the best, Windsor BJJ! 

Secondly I must state... coastal residents of the United States... make it a priority to visit the midwest / mid Canada in the next year.  Take notes and mimic their attitudes!  Seriously this was the nicest, most awesome group of competitors I have ever fought with.  I have been a participant in many different martial genres, competitions, and events in the past 22 years; I can say truly the camaraderie and brotherhood found in BJJ is second to none.

Coach Reed of Reed's Martial Arts in Cincinnati  brought a large group up which included Stu "Studebaker" Diamond (silver medal white belt heavyweight) of the Takedown Radio Show!  Matt "Iron Man" Reilman (gold I believe in blue belt heavyweight) who was an awesome training partner (quit calling me "sir" dude!!!) and a future MMA star on Bellator!  Write the name down you heard it here first.  Amanda Benjamin (double medal winner white belt middleweight) who you will also see in female MMA in the next couple years.  Last but not least Bryan Dods who was promoted to brown belt, congrats!

Prof Machado watching the action!
On top of those great folks all other competitors were awesome as well.  Trevor was busy choking me out with his patented rear naked when he was not busy tearing through the juvenile gi and no gi divisions!  Scott Morehouse has been training under Jean Jacques in LA for over 7 years and recently moved to Lansing, MI. with his family.  Scott is one of Jean Jacques top brown belts and travels over 90 miles one way to train 3-5 times a week with Ron Dupuis in Windsor.  Oh, by the way he has to clear the border each way each time which can take anywhere from 10-50 minutes depending on how big a jackass the agent wants to be any given night.  So next time you are whining and crying about your commute... think of Scott who spends 2 hours ONE WAY to train! 

For those I forgot to mention... apologies from a foggy brain ;)

On to my fights... due to the number of malnourished grapplers in Canada there were no big purple belts so Ron asked me if I would like to fight Scott, who is my size exactly, but a brown belt.  I said "Hell's yizzy!  I am here for fun and experience!"  By the time our division was called Bryan Dod was included in the group though he only weighed in at 130#'s!  A true gamer in what became a brown belt absolute division!

Brown Belt division champs! 
Bryan and Scott fought first with Scott taking the fight.  Bryan fought great but the experience and size won out.  After a short reprieve it was my turn to face Scott.  I will post video later (my dumbass couldn't remember my Youtube password so I couldn't upload the videos today) but overall I am VERY happy with my performance!  I played my game and imposed my will which were two of my goals.  I jacked up my psoas last week thanks to a weird angled banana split so I really did not want to play a throwing games with someone my size.  I pulled guard (still need a cleaner pull) and he was savvy so I went right to DLR.  I managed a semi sweep but he caught me in half guard which I eventually passed and got side control.  From there I really just focused my pressure and worked my top mount game to a T!  I managed to use his lapel to control his far side arm and nearly had a new (to me) wristlock I have been working on.  When threatening said arm with an americana he gave his back where I nailed my kimura grip and pulled him into my lap, sinking in the hooks.  I would eventually dish him off and he managed to secure half guard and a solid lock down, but as the time ran out I managed to squeak by on a 7-0 victory!  A solid performance in a tough fight!

After Scott I got a short breather before fighting Bryan.  With Ron distracting me by giving  me shit from the sidelines, Bryan had the clear advantage even though I had 70 pounds on the guy.  As we scrambled from his deep half I end up in his guard and subject to AMAZING posture control strength on his end! I could not gain it back!!  The new brown belt sunk in a nut cracker choke with his fist to the point everyone thought I was out because my head turned purple.  Little do they know... ok... I ain't going to bullshit... I was 1 second away from being out!  It came on fast!  Bryan choked out the win taking gold proving size matters not in BJJ!

Best part of the day... having Jean Jacques Machado drape a silver medal around my neck!!!  Hell's yeah! 

Thanks to my training partners back in Seattle, and especially my coach Brian Johnson whom has never given up on me.  Thanks to Armbar Soap Co. for keeping the cooties off me, and of course my sponsor 1914 BJJ Kimonos who make THE best gi's on the market!!  Again I can't thank all of you enough, especially Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zabellos for a great weekend of training, making friends, and proving that martial arts truly bring people together and form lifelong bonds.  I share blood sweat and tears with my brothers and sisters.  This will never be forgotten. 


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