Martial Arts Knoxville TN, A Look Through my Lens: IBJJF Worlds 2015

Last month the IBJJF World Championships were held at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. Gracie Barra competitors from all over the world represented the red shield. I am proud to be part of such a diverse team of very talented individuals. The days were long and the competition fierce. Here are some of the photographs from last month.

I just have eaten four bowls of Açai, and heard “BOA!!!” a couple thousand times behind me. The event is a fun to watch and is an emotional roller coaster for those competing. At every competition I get to experience both the joys of victory and the agony of defeat. It’s a physically and emotionally taxing experience for all those involved.

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Day 1 – Thursday, May 28th 2015

The first day of the IBJJF worlds has the white and blue belt divisions. These ranks are always fun to watch because of the wilder style of jiu-jitsu many white and blue belts have. These competitors may have been training for several years but are still in search of that definitive style that begins to define their jiu-jitsu.

Anthony Agazarm

Anthony Agazarm

Joshua Valles

Joshua Valles

Orlando Sanchez – Gracie Barra Pasadena - The picture explains itself better than I ever can in words…

Orlando Sanchez – Gracie Barra Pasadena – The picture explains itself better than I ever can in words…

Carlos “CJ” Souza with Professors Zé Radiola and Marcio Feitosa (left to right)

Carlos “CJ” Souza with Professors Zé Radiola and Marcio Feitosa (left to right)

Day 2 – Friday – May 29th 2015

As a purple belt myself, I fully enjoy watching these matches. The level of technique is a step up from the previous day. Competitors often display a refined level of control and precision while still making small mistakes. It becomes an interesting battle of who can capitalize on those errors first.

Oliver Lovell – Gracie Barra Nottingham

Oliver Lovell – Gracie Barra Nottingham

Chad Shaule – Gracie Barra Vancouver

Chad Shaule – Gracie Barra Vancouver

Coach Jamie Dietz-Vélez – Gracie Barra Diamond Bar

Coach Jamie Dietz-Vélez – Gracie Barra Diamond Bar

Kelly Nakagawa-Oliveira from Gracie Barra Chino embraces her opponent after a grueling match

Kelly Nakagawa-Oliveira from Gracie Barra Chino embraces her opponent after a grueling match

Day 3 – Saturday

Many of the best jiu-jitsu competitors on Earth step foot on the mat Saturday. These brown and black belts are top-level athletes who often train full time to satisfy an illustrious hunger for gold. It’s easy to sense how much is on the line for many competitors with the level of competition being so high.

Edwin Najmi wins his division as a brown belt.

Edwin Najmi wins his division as a brown belt.

The match was tied but all judges awarded Najmi the victor. After receiving his gold medal, Professor Romulo Barral awarded Edwin his much-earned Black Belt.

Head instructor of Gracie Barra Irvine, Philipe Della Monica defeated Megaton Dias in the featherweight division

Head instructor of Gracie Barra Irvine, Philipe Della Monica defeated Megaton Dias in the featherweight division

Fabiana Borges from Gracie Barra San Antonio submitted Angelica Galvao by armbar and eventually went on to take home silver in her division.

Fabiana Borges from Gracie Barra San Antonio submitted Angelica Galvao by armbar and eventually went on to take home silver in her division.

Day 4 – Sunday – Finals

The arena is converted to only 2 mats. Like the ancient coliseum of Rome, all eyes become focused on two competitors, fighting for the chance to claim the title of World Champion.

Victor Estima from Gracie Barra Nottingham had a series of wins including one by his signature Estima lock.

Victor Estima from Gracie Barra Nottingham had a series of wins including one by his signature Estima lock.

Otavio Sousa – Gracie Barra Huntington Beach reminded his opponents why they call him the “Steamroller.”

Otavio Sousa – Gracie Barra Huntington Beach reminded his opponents why they call him the “Steamroller.”

Ana Laura Cordeiro – Gracie Barra Upland took home another gold medal to earn her third world championship!

Ana Laura Cordeiro – Gracie Barra Upland took home another gold medal to earn her third world championship!

Gracie Barra took home two team awards placing first in both the novice and juvenile divisions. Accepting the awards were Professors Zé Radiola and Braulio Estima

Gracie Barra took home two team awards placing first in both the novice and juvenile divisions. Accepting the awards were Professors Zé Radiola and Braulio Estima

Gracie Barra Nottingham and Birmingham - Top row (Laura Barker, Bradley Hill, Sean Coates, Xabi Eguskiza Prado, and Jamie Paxman). Bottom row (Oliver Lovell, Vanessa English, Gret Zoeller, Victor Estima, and Leoni Munslow).

Gracie Barra Nottingham and Birmingham – Top row (Laura Barker, Bradley Hill, Sean Coates, Xabi Eguskiza Prado, and Jamie Paxman). Bottom row (Oliver Lovell, Vanessa English, Gret Zoeller, Victor Estima, and Leoni Munslow).

These events are always a memorable for me. Many athletes competing at this event will cherish the days as once in a lifetime experience. Experiences they will remember the rest of their lives. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of that.

Till next time Gracie Barra!

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