Sandwiched between the weekends of the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials (in the far-off United Arab Emirates) and the Brazilian Nationals (the Brasileiro) was the New York International Open – and of course, Crazy 88 would be there.
The team would consist of our best White Belts and a strong Blue Belt and Purple Belt squad (although, we would be missing many of our most consistent place-winners).
Andrew “Mr.” Carter and Jean-Pierre Connelly closed out the White Belt Featherweight division in impressive fashion, each winning 3 matches apiece and either submitting or scoring huge point margins (the closest points match was Connelly being 7 points ahead at the end of the contest).
In the Lightweight division, Peter Petties AKA “the Pied Piper” made an impressive IBJJF debut. After a 2-0 war in his first match, he utilized his wrestling to the fullest, using it to take his opponents down into side-mount and then finishing them from mount and a variety of dominant positions. He defeated 4 opponents to reach the finals where he received Silver with both him and his opponent getting disqualified at some point during the competition (LOL!).
His opponent was DQ’d by the officials after numerous last calls to the mat but Crazy 88 found him, brought him to the mat, and told the IBJJF officials, that we would do the match. As soon as the match began, Pete shot a beautiful takedown and lifted the guy off the mat as his opponent attempted a guillotine (not on). Pete was then DQ’d for “attempting to flee the mat”. Although it was an insane finish, Pete ended the day happy and it was a lesson learned!
John Kim AKA “The Army’s Most Dangerous Man” and Tarie Miles closed out the White Belt Heavy bracket. There was only one other competitor in the division and he had the unfortunate task of facing 2 of our grapplers back-to-back.
Chris “Short Round” Tran was temporarily banned by the IBJJF from competing in the Adult division due to his age and so he returned to the Juvenile division where he threw his opponent for two points, earned a few advantages for pinning his opponent (who had a very good guard) in the half, and ended the match working a Brabo choke.
“Big Sal” Washington continued his medal streak, winning both the Blue Belt Ultra Heavy and the Blue Belt Open. He is flying to Brazil on Wednesday to compete at the Brazilian Nationals.
“Big Lakota” Patterson performed well at her first competition at a lower weight class. Lakita made the cut to 141 lbs and looked dominant in her 3 weight class matches where she won Gold! Taking a page out of Keith Cebula’s book, she decided to have an insane first match where she fell back 9 points but came back in the last minute to score 9 points herself and finish her opponent.
Lakita finished two girls again in the Open, before losing in the Finals. One Gold & One Silver for “Big Lak”.
Timmy Spriggs AKA #1 Stunna, fresh off the plane from the UAE, also double Gold-medaled, winning the Purple Belt Heavy and the Purple Belt Open. Timmy was his typically dominant self. This time, Timmy on his back a few times where he was forced to use his bottom game to win; his opponents forgot that Timmy started at Crazy 88 as a lightweight and has a full complement of “little guy” moves from the bottom.
One year after winning the Blue Belt Middleweight division, Tye Ryan returned to the NY Open and won the Purple Belt Middleweight. Tye’s first match was against the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials winner who he defeated 9-2. After a tight second match, Tye entered the finals where he finished his opponent with a tight Bow & Arrow choke. In the Open, Tye outpointed a half-guard specialist before losing a narrow 5-4 barnburner match to the Ultra Heavy Gold medalist in the Semi-Finals.
Overall, the team took 2nd place which is always impressive considering the competition took place right in the middle of New York City – an area which probably has 100 BJJ schools in 15 mile radius and many of our key players were missing.
Next up, Brazilian Nationals!