IBJJF Charlotte International Open 2021

Alliance Team takes 1st Place in Gi and No Gi

As Lucas Lepri affiliates, Team Casarez students competed under the Alliance association for the IBJJF Charlotte competition on October 2.

Alliance has won 1st place in the previous four IBJJF Charlotte competitions, and secured a 5th title this year. Alliance is now 5X Charlotte Open Team Champions.

This was also the first year that the IBJJF Charlotte hosted a No-Gi team competition, and Alliance won 1st place in this competition as well. We are proud to be a part of this association that prides itself in world class techniques, competitors, and culture.

 

Team Casarez Individual Student Competition Results

As an individual team, we took 11 students to the competition. This was an exciting day because it is the most students we have taken to an IBJJF competition from Team Casarez. We also had students of all belt ranks participate in the competition. As an individual team, our students brought home 16 medals, with the results as follows:

 

White belt:
Troy competed in his first IBJJF competition. He has been training very hard at the gym and has been successful in local tournaments. He had two submissions in the tournament, and multiple exciting matches, and secured the gold medal.

Blue belt:
We had two blue belts compete in the competition, Catherine and Andrew. Andrew lost to a very tough opponent in the first round, but he was proud of his performance and we are proud of him as well. Catherine competed in both Gi and No Gi, and this was her first IBJJF competition. Even though she lost her matches, she was able to take away key learning points that will help her to improve for the next competition.

Purple belt:
Milo, Ferny, and Carl represented the purple belts from the school. Milo won 2nd in the Gi, and 3rd in the No Gi. Ferny took 3rd in the Gi, and 2nd in the No Gi. Carl won gold in his Gi division and 3rd in the absolute Gi division. All of these competitors had great performances, and we are very proud of them.

Brown belt:
Mike and Adam competed in the brown belt divisions. Adam competed in the absolute division for the Gi and won 2nd place. Mike competed in the Gi and No Gi division, and also won second place in both divisions.

Black belt:
Professors Tony and Brian competed in their Gi brackets for their divisions. Brian placed 3rd in his division. Tony competed in the adult division and lost by points. It was a great experience for both of them as they competed against high level black belt competitors.

 

We also had students make the drive from Raleigh to Charlotte to support the competitors. Jenn, Henry, and Megan all showed up to cheer on the students. Bringing snacks and recording matches helped to boost the team morale, and we are proud to have students that take the time out of their weekend to support their teammates.

Thank you to all of the students who represented Team Casarez on and off the mats at the Charlotte competition. We are excited to take the lessons learned from this competition to help us get ready for the next one!

Jiu Jitsu Team Helps Competitors Win at FUJI Tournament

Referring to Jiu Jitsu as an individual sport is accurate to an extent. After all, it is one-on-one grappling and competing. However, Jiu Jitsu is more of a team sport than a lot of us realize, and this was explicitly clear when Team Casarez competed in the FUJI tournament on April 25 in our hometown of Cary, North Carolina. 

Jiu Jitsu Training Program

The weeks leading up to the tournament included extended rounds of rolling. Students who were not planning to compete contributed to the training of their teammates by pushing themselves during these 8-10 minute rounds. The entire gym, competitors and noncompetitors alike, stepped up the training intensity in preparation for the upcoming tournament. As tournament day approached, you could hear a lot of students asking their teammates about game plans, how they felt, offering advice, and encouragement. 

Grappling Family 

On the day of the tournament, teammates who were not competing took the time out of their weekend to show up and support their fellow students. 

Thank you to Lelani, Jenn, Carl, JD, Brian, Kyle, Aaron and Todd for cheering on the competitors. Jenn brought snacks, Carl recorded footage, and Aaron took the time to post live updates on the Facebook group and share results with the rest of the team who were asking for updates. The energy, encouragement, and support from these teammates helped energize the competitors as they made their way onto the mats. 

The Martial Arts Competitors

There were 14 total competitors from Team Casarez at this tournament: Riya, Caike, Ferny, Garrett, Milo, Christian, Mikhael, Adam, Troy, Mike, Sach, Catherine, Thryn, and Frank. For some of these competitors, it was their first time competing. Competition is highly encouraged because it pushes students to challenge themselves mentally and physically. We are so proud of all of these students for deciding to compete. Regardless of any outcomes, competition will always provide helpful insights and lessons into your game. By the end of the day, the students had earned 19 medals among them. 

 

Jiu Jitsu Competition Results

Riya and Caike represented Team Casarez in the youth division. It was Riya’s first tournament, and she demonstrated impressive composure and technique as she submitted some of her opponents. She even went up against boys in her division. Riya placed gold in both Gi and No Gi. It was also Caike’s first tournament and he placed silver and bronze in Gi, and double bronze in No Gi. Both of these students are young and have bright and impressive futures ahead of them. 

In the adult division, we had 12 competitors: 6 white belts, 4 blue belts, and 2 brown belts.

Of the white belts, Troy earned silver in Gi and No Gi and showcased excellent passing and technique. Catherine won gold in Gi and No Gi and had some impressive take- downs in her matches. Ferny, Milo, Mikhael, and Sach represented the blue belts. Ferny earned gold in the Gi and bronze in the No-Gi. He also had the fastest submission of the tournament with an ankle lock at 9 seconds. Milo also won gold in Gi and bronze in No-Gi. He went up to the advanced division in No-Gi where they allow leg locks and heel hooks. He is only 17 and wanted to challenge himself against the adults. Mikhael won gold in both of his divisions, Gi and No-Gi, and finished all of his opponents by submission. Sach competed in the Gi and won silver. This was  both Sach and Mikhael’s first tournament as blue belts. In the brown belt division, Mike won gold in the Gi and silver in the No-Gi. 

Martial Arts Lessons Gained

We are so proud of all the competitors who represented the team at this tournament. Competition is a great way to test your jiu jitsu in a high-pressure environment. It is also a great way to pinpoint where improvements can be made in your game. From this tournament, we have learned some essential lessons as a team. 

Three main takeaways I want our team to focus on from this tournament are improvements on tactics, mentality, and training volume. 

  • Tactically: we can improve by dedicating more training time to learning what a strategy is, how to build it, and how to execute it in the tournament. 
  • Mentality: we can all improve our mentalities by arriving more prepared for the tournament, whether that means eating well, drinking plenty of water, getting sufficient rest the night before, arriving early, properly warming up, and making sure that the mind is focused. All of this will result in more mental clarity and confidence as you approach the mat. 
  • Volume: If you are planning to compete, make sure that your training volume is increasing. If your schedule allows you to train only a handful of times a week, make the most out of those sessions by limiting breaks, extending rounds, and pushing yourself to roll with teammates who have been resting. All of this will make you feel more confident on the day of the tournament. 

 

Remember, Jiu-jitsu is a team sport. We win together, we lose together, we train together, and we are in this together. Great job to the whole team on the success at the FUJI tournament on April 25. Let’s get ready for the next one!