The South USA Grappling Association Alabama State Championships brought 265 competitors from more than 17 gyms to Orange Beach, AL, on May 14.
One standout in the kids 7 to 9 year old white/gray belt division was Levi Johnson of Gracie United, which was one of the top three most represented gyms at the tournament. Johnson has only been training in the sport for a little over a year and has been winning events back-to-back.
Adam Hicks, a former NCWA All-American wrestler and current wrestling coach at Port City MMA is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and was dominant in the Master Division (Advanced No Gi) for 30 to 35 year olds. Port City MMA was also one of the most represented gyms.
Joining Gracie United and Port City MMA in the top three gyms, in terms of number of competitors at the tournament, was The Academy of Pensacola.
Event organizer Rafael Ellwanger said it was a great event, especially in the kids division, noting there were a lot of high level fights for that young age.
”(The) future is bright for BJJ in the south,” Ellwanger said.
The South USA Grappling Association is sponsored by Greatmats and has been using Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats at its tournaments for the last 10 years. All attendees of these tournaments are eligible to participate in Greatmats’ Photobomb Contest. Learn more about the Greatmats Photobomb Contest at http://www.greatmats.com/martial-arts-mats/greatmats-photobomb-contest.php