Ronin Brand sponsored athlete and full-time University of Maryland student, Chris “Shortround” Tran made the journey across the country to compete in the 2015 Pan American Championships. Originally, he was planning to skip the Pan Ams and just compete in the New York Open, but the idea was immediately shut down, and he registered for the rooster weight division at purple belt. Pushing yourself beyond your expectations is a staple of Crazy 88, a powerhouse Maryland Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school.
Team Crazy 88 entered Bren Events Center at around 10AM on Thursday and Shortround immediately geared up to help his teammate, Chris Kim, warm up. Unfortunately, warm ups were quick and Shortround suffered the fate of sitting in the stands for hours, watching the white and blue belts before he was finally called to the bullpen. Shortround finally set foot into the mat at around 3:20PM and 7 minutes later, his hand was raised for a 2-0 win by early sweep in the first round against a very scramble-oriented Brazilian competitor. His next match was against a grappler from Nova Uniao and he won again, 2-0, with yet another sweep to enter the medal rounds.
In the semi-finals, Shortround faced the a tough competitor from GF Team who won the European Open. This was his toughest match of the tournament and he won it from on top. His opponent had a very dangerous submission-oriented guard but was unable to score or threaten Chris Tran’s stifling top game (Chris Tran’s other nickname in the training room is “Base God” for a reason). In the finals, Shortround controlled his opponent from his guard and got a close win via penalty point for the other competitor.
Afterwards, Chris Tran was called to the podium to receive his first Pan gold medal in a gi tournament, making it his third overall and something to bring home to the BJJ club he runs at University of Maryland, College Park.