The Boston International Open was held at UMASS Boston on August 22nd, 2015. This would be the one of the last BJJ tournaments of the Summer for Team Crazy 88.
First up was Chris “Japanese Sexy” Kim . Chris Kim competed in the blue belt featherweight division, systematically defeating everyone in his way. He won his first 2-0, and then built his momentum up in the second round with a choke from the back. He then won the semi-finals 4-0 and earned his gold medal with an outstanding 12-0 victory. This would be Chris Kim’s first IBJJF gold at the Blue Belt level, and he left the venue that day hungry for more.
Other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belts who competed in Boston included Brent Moreland, Byung Ju Lee, Kayla Dehm, Jen Allen, and Mark Bass.
Brent Moreland, who prefers “Brentan Morelandius” was unceremoniously eliminated from the Medium-Heavy division by a Judges Decision after a 2-2 tie in the first round. In a lackluster match, Brent got footswept in the first 5 seconds and then swept his opponent from the 50-50 with 20 seconds remaining in the match to tie the score before it entered the referee’s hands.
Byung Ju Lee defeated his first opponent handily on points before falling prey to the infamous baseball bat choke (the “Ciabatta” choke).
An example of the Baseball choke at the Black Belt level
“Mean” Dehm AKA Kayla, made her Blue Belt debut in Boston. She would lose via guard pass to a tough Judo-based grappler in the Semis.
Jen Allen, who would like everyone to know she is not romantically involved with Brent Moreland, won Double Gold in the Female Masters division. The yoga instructor was in control of all her matches and won by big point margins.
Mark Bass lost 4-2 in his IBJJF debut.
On the other side of the Boston gymnasium, Vannessa Griffin competed in the purple belt middleweight division, the second tournament at that level for the college freshman. After pulling off a 14-0 victory, she placed herself in the semi-finals, earning a chance to fight in the Open weight class. In the semi-finals, she submitted her opponent with a choke from the back. Unfortunately, Vannessa lost 8-2 in the finals, winning the Silver medal.
At the same time, Chris “Short Round” Tran fought in the purple belt featherweight division, two weight classes above his normal weight class. He won his first match with a close 8-6 score in a 50-50 leg entanglement sweep battle. In the semifinals, Chris made an error from the Reverse De La Riva guard which caused a series of unfortunate events that left him with a Bronze medal.
In addition to seasoned veterans, this tournament was a first for some of Crazy 88’s White Belts. Aleana Cofield competed in the white belt lightweight division and Tori Kime competed in the white belt feather weight division. Both female athletes went 1-1 in their divisions, winning their first matches 7-0, and both earning a bronze medal for the day.
Kenson Noel, a recent Crazy 88 transfer student, also competed in the Masters age bracket. Kenson would lose on points in his first match.
Last up would be the Open weight classes: Vannessa Griffin would be fighting in the Purple Belt and Chris Kim would be our representative amongst the Blue Belts. Vannessa won the Semi-Finals by bread cutter choke but was unable to secure a win in the finals, and ended the tournament with two Silver medals.
Chris submitted the Heavyweight division winner in the Sweet 16 round and then outpointed the Light Feather champion in the Quarterfinals. In the Semi-finals, Chris would face off against the Middleweight champion and lose 6-0. Chris ended up with a Bronze medal along with the Gold from his weight class.