- Mike Atkin
- Executive Gi Advanced Open – GOLD
- Executive No-Gi Advanced Open – GOLD
- Julius Park
- Adult No-Gi Advanced Welterweight (<170 lbs) – SILVER
- Phil Thorn
- Adult No-Gi Beginner Super Heavyweight (225+ lbs) – 4th
- Roberto Torralbas
- Adult Gi Purple Belt Light Heavyweight (<200 lbs) – 4th
- Amie Turton
- Adult No-Gi Advanced Lightweight (<135 lbs) – BRONZE
- Adult Gi Blue Belt Lightweight (<135 lbs) – GOLD
“Iron” Mike Atkin returned from a 6-month layoff and proved that he is still the man in his age division to beat. Since he had undergone a complete rotator cuff reattachment, people wondered if Mike could return to his old form… well, he did!!!
At the end of the day, Mike had defeated four opponents and scored 27 points to his opponents’ combined 2. Look for Mike to bring home some hardware from the PanAms next month!
Julius Park defeated four opponents on his way to the welterweight finals. He outpointed his first two opponents (10-0, 4-0) and submitted the next two after gaining huge point margins (20+ points ahead). In the finals, he faced Rafael Chaves, a very tough brown belt from Hermes Franca’s academy. It was a very technical bout with Julius trying to sweep and Chaves trying to pass. In the middle of the match, Chaves countered a sitting guard sweep with an acrobatic pass and managed to get side-mount briefly before Julius was able to regain his guard. Congratulations to Chaves on the victory!
Rob Prall decided to challenge himself and jumped up to the Intermediate division where he outpointed his first opponent before losing in OT to Brandon Grodintzky from Ground Control. Rob stuffed most of Brandon’s takedowns and had a few good choke attempts but it was even at the end of regulation. In the OT, Brandon managed to pass Rob’s guard for the win. Brandon is a former collegiate wrestler and NAGA champion so this was a confidence-boosting match for Rob.
Big Phil fought up a skill division and competed with the Beginners despite having less-than six months experience. He showed a lot of heart, defeating his first two opponents before losing hard- fought battles in the semi-finals and consolations. Look for Phil to make a huge impact on the super-heavyweight division as he gains experience (this was his first tournament)!
Roberto Torralbas competed in the Purple belt division, crushing his 1st opponent 11×0 before meeting up with Lee Synkowski (Maguilla BJJ). Lee had placed twice at the Pan-American Games and was a returning NAGA Purple belt division champion so we knew that this would be a good challenge for Roberto.
We formulated a strategy that would allow Roberto to shut down a person who plays the type of game that Lee played and it worked perfectly. Roberto kept constant pressure on Lee, controlled the pace, and passed him to win the match 3-0. A stategically-perfect match! Roberto ended the division undefeated, bowing out to senior teammates.
Amie Turton defeated 2 opponents in the no-gi before losing via rear choke to Abu Dhabi veteran and purple belt, Tara LaRosa. Amie had to settle for a rare bronze but the gi division was a different story.
With the PanAms coming up, Amie has been focusing primarily on the gi and it showed. She defeated her first opponent 13×2 before meeting up with Stephanie Mariscal (Combat-Do). Stephanie had beaten Amie earlier in the year in a controversial match when Amie tapped due to an accidental knee. This time, Amie was able to beat Stephanie in a very close points battle. In the finals, Amie faced Tara again. Amie jumped guard and was working her dangerous closed guard but Tara kept great base and was defending all of Amie’s sweep and submission attempts. Near the end of the match, as Tara opened Amie’s guard. Amie swept her off a transition from the Eiffel Tower sweep for the 2-0 victory. A great match by both competitors.
Don Walter dominated his first opponent in the white belt welterweight division, sweeping, passing, and mounting him. In his 2nd match, Don had his opponent defensive with multiple sweep and umaplata attempts. In a scramble, his opponent managed to get around Don’s legs and pinned him down until the time limit.
Brennan Walter showed why with a little training he could be a champion. Having not trained since the beginning of the school year, he drove back home for the tournament. He managed to submit two opponents via Rubber-guard triangles before getting knocked out of the competition. Brennan swears that he will start preparing more than one week in advance for the next tournament so keep an eye out for him!