On September 27, 2011 Chris “Short Round” Tran joined the ranks of Crazy 88’s elite team of blue belts. Hours after turning sixteen, yes sixteen, Chris was promoted from the rank of juvenile green belt to adult blue belt.
Despite his newly acquired faixa azul, Chris has already experienced blue belt success at both the juvenile and adult divisions. In fact, in June 2011 Chris Tran, at only fifteen, became the Baltimore area’s first World Juvenile blue-belt Champion (borrowing his sister, Cathy’s blue belt for the matches). Prior to competing at the 2011 Mundials, while still fifteen years old, Chris fought locally and obtained gold medals in the adult white belt and blue belt galo divisions.
Martial arts and Crazy 88 is a way of life for the Tran family. Chris’s sister Cathy is a Crazy 88 blue-belt, Chris’s brother-in-law David is a Crazy 88 purple-belt, Chris father is a taekwondo black belt and kung fu practitioner and daily spectator at Crazy 88, and Chris’s mother trains daily in Thai Chi and yoga. Rather poetically, Chris position on the blue belt team was secured by his own sister Cathy, who in August of 2011 took double gold at the Boston Open, winning her division as well as the open weight class division.
In late 2009, Chris dedicated himself to “the process” of becoming a Crazy 88 competitor. Chris attends double classes Monday through Thursday at Crazy 88, every Friday he puts in at least one session with the killer-kids squat at Camp Springs, and on Saturdays he trains and drills. Aside from his vicious training schedule, Chris maintains well over a 3.5 grade point average at Severna Park high school and can often be found in a side office at 88 doing homework before classes begin.
The Crazy 88 kids and teens competitor program has been structured to focus simultaneously on school and jiu jitsu related goals. Chris Tran and Devon Delbrugge were among the first class of teens to fully immerse themselves in the system. Since they began, both Chris and Devon have attained incredible successes at both school and the jiu jitsu competition circuit. In fact, these two young rising starts alone have more International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gold-medals than all other Baltimore jiu jiutsu academies combining their entire student base.
Chris credits his success in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the “process” maliciously crafted by Julius Park, Jon Delbrugge, Master Lloyd Irvin, and Master Donnie of Camp Springs. As usual, Chris’s milestone promotion was celebrated at the academy with a fine bottle of champagne. However, it is a sign of the times that the guest of honor at this celebration was five years away from being able to take a sip. We expect big things from Chris Tran in the years to come. He is planning on putting in a full training season at adult blue-belt galo in his quest to obtain another World Championship title.