The Chicago Open of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been a highly competitive grappling tournament for a long time. Two days of sweat, gi burn, mat burn, and dysfunctional bathrooms (yes, the plumbing was broken). This year Crazy 88 sent a small squad consisting of just Devon Delbrugge, Jon Connelly, and Chris Kim.
The two-day tournament took place on August 18 and 19. A tournament like this is awesome if you are looking to get a lot of matches, since it is one of the rare IBJJF events where you can enter two divisions: one gi and one no-gi. The guys arrived in the windy city on Friday, and, after watching their fair share of cartoons, got their rest.
First up on Saturday were Chris Kim AKA “Japanese Sexy” and Connelly AKA “Connie”. Chris had several tough matches and ended up nabbing bronze after being disqualified for an illegal knee reap in the semi-finals. Connelly also took bronze after working his way through four tough matches. Last of the day was Devon, who was competing at purple belt for the first time. Adjusting to the difference in match length (blue belt matches are 6 minutes long, purple matches are 7), Devon won his division and got a gold medal, concluding the first day.
That night, the guys feasted on whatever they could get their hands on: mostly chipotle and smoothies. Having all placed in their divisions, they went to sleep feeling confident that the next day would earn them some hardware as well.
The next morning started with Chris and Connelly again. This time Chris was unable to place, losing a barnburner match against a tough opponent from Alliance. Connelly again fought through several tough matches before losing by advantage in the finals. Devon won his division again, taking out a division one wrestler and the opponent who submitted him in the open the day before.
That night, the guys feasted again. This time they had a hearty meal of white castle hamburgers and soda. Yes, not the healthy of choices, but its not everyday you see a white castle! ;P