Infinity National Championships Rock the Kalahari Convention Center

Brown, Viviano, Thomason earn multiple National Grand Championships

May 18, 2017 – With 300 competitors from across the U.S. and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains, the Infinity National Championships put on two days of high caliber martial arts competition at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, WI on May 12-13, 2017.

The second annual tournament was highlighted by the performances of 20 different Grand Champions, three of which took home to Grand Champion Trophies.

Zoe Brown of United Family Martial Arts in Hamilton, Ontario, was one competitor who won multiple grand championships, taking home the top prize in both Junior Japanese Forms and Junior Korean Forms.

Sacha Viviano of Wisconsin was the Women’s Sparring and Women’s Semi-Final Grand Champion.

Brett Thomason of St. Peters, Missouri also claimed a pair of Grand Championships – in Men’s Sparring and Men’s Final.

Other grand champions included:
Noell Jellison (WI) – Junior Musical Forms
Tim Wegert (VA) – Adult Contemporary Forms
Mason Bumba (IL) – Junior Point/Contact Sparring
Hope Chase (PA) – Adult Hard Traditional Forms
Connor Chasteen (WI) – Junior Weapons Forms
Joseph Bein (WI) – Adult Contemporary Weapons
Aric Barnard (WI) – Senior Sparring
Hubert Monroe (W) – Grands Kyu 18 Novice
Andy Chen (WI) – Grands Kyu 7 Novice
Abby Frank (WI) – Grands Kyu 8-11 Novice
Sofia Rodrigues-Florez (FL) – Grands Kyu 11 Advanced
Taylor Lawson (VA) – Grand Kyu 11 Intermediate
Riley Heffelfinger (OH) – Grand Kyu 12-17 Advanced
Elizabeth Folsom (WI) – Grand Kyu 12-17 Intermediate
Ryan White (WI) – Grand Kyu 18 Intermediate/Advanced
Patte Lelle (WI) – Grand Kyu 35+ Novice/Intermediate
Hannah Nehls (WI) – Grand Kyu 12-17

Greatmats is the official sponsor of the Infinity National Championships, which uses Greatmats martial arts mats in all of its competition rings.

Infinity National Championships
Infinity Martial Arts
Wisconsin Dells WI
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Barlaan Wins Superfight at 12th Annual Rumble in the Redwoods

Barnatto Wins Men’s Black Belt Match By Submission

Feb. 17, 2017 — The 12th Annual Rumble in the Redwoods Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament, sponsored by Greatmats, ”roared to a fiery crescendo,” on Feb. 11, according to tournament organizer Chris Smith.

”Athletes from all over central California converged on the Deanza campus in Cupertino, California, to do battle,” Smith said. ”From the teeny weeny 5 year old division, all the way through the adult, pro black belt division, all the mats were red hot. With over 200 athletes coming from over 20 academies, our area was very well represented.”

Highlighting the action was the black belt women superfight between Kristian Barlaan of Ciao Terra Academy and Bethany Schulze of Tiger Martial Arts. Barlaan won the match by points.

On the men’s side of black belt competition, its was Wolf Barnatto of Ralph Gracie Team putting on a show with a submission victory over David Harvey Dean of Big Break Jiu Jitsu.

Another bright spot was the performance of 16-year-old up and comer Richard Aguillar of Crosley Gracie Academy, who claimed a pile of hardware after competing in the teen’s, men’s and open blue belt divisions. Smith said Aguillar showed ”calm and cantor well beyond his years.”

Rumble In The Redwoods
De Anza College
Cupertino CA
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Lovato BJJ Dominates Oklahoma State BJJ Championships

Cobra BJJ Grabs Second Place at AGF Tournament in Oklahoma City

By Brett Hart

AGF Oklahoma City BJJ Championships GreatmatsThe 2017 American Grappling Federation Oklahoma State BJJ Championships wrapped up on Saturday, March 4 with a landslide Overall Team Victory by Lovato BJJ.

The Champion squad racked up 1,666 team points while Cobra BJJ edged American Elite MMA 614-602 for second place at the Greatmats-sponsored event.

Lovato BJJ Swept the team title in all four divisions with the majority of its points coming in Kids Gi where it earned 567 points.adult competition AGF Oklahoma BJJ 2017 Greatmats

Amrican Elite MMA placed second in the kids Gi Division with 191 points, followed by Rock City MMA with 154.

Claiming the runner up spot in the Kids No Gi Divisiion was Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy, which edged Sandro Sampaio BJJ Academy 151-143.

American Grappling Federation 2017 OKC BJJ Championships GreatmatsIn the Adult No Gi Division Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy stole second place from Cobra BJJ by tiebreaker as both finished with 151 points.

Cobra BJJ, however, claimed sole possession of second place in the Adult Gi Division, pushing past Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy, 202-175.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores
Lovato BJJ 1666

Cobra BJJ 614
American Elite MMA 602
Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy 594
Triton Fight Center 488grappling AGF Oklahoma City BJJ Greatmats
Academy of Martial Arts 468
Clinch Martial Arts Academy 458
Guetho Texas 451
Rock City MMA 368
Alvarez BJJ 358

Grappling action BJJ AGF Oklahoma City BJJTo learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

Alvarez BJJ Opens 2017 AGF Season with Winter Classic Title

BQuick JJ Claims Second Place in First AGF BJJ Tournament of the Year

By Brett Hart

AGF dallas winter classic grappling GreatmatsJan. 27, 2017 – The American Grappling Federation kicked off its 2017 tournament season on Jan. 22 with the Greatmats-sponsored Dallas Winter Classic. The AGF’s first-ever Sunday tournament brought a balanced field of competition, topped by an overall team championship by Alvarez BJJ with 265 points. BQuick JJ claimed second with 220 points, and Warrior Martial Arts edged out Soul Fighters Texas by two points to snag third place out of more than 80 teams.

youth grappling AGF 2017 Dallas competing GreatmatsWarrior Martial Arts claimed the Kids No Gi Division title while All American MMA duked it out with Soul Fighters Texas for the runner up spot. All American MMA squeaked past Soul Fighters Texas with just three points of separation.

Watkins BJJ Academy won the Kids Gi Division by an even smaller margin, slipping past Warrior Martial Arts by just two points while Alvarez BJJ secured the No. 3 spot.

AGF Dallas Classic 2017 competition GreatmatsBQuick JJ was the clear winner of the Adult No Gi Division while Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio edged Alvarez BJJ by just one point for the No. 2 spot.

Alvarez BJJ separated itself from the rest of the field in the Adult Gi Division where it racked up nearly 40 percent of its points to claim the division title. BQuick JJ had a solid grip on second place. Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio claimed third place.

 

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

grappling AGF Dallas Winter competition 2017 Greatmats

  • Alvarez BJJ 265
  • BQuick JJ 220
  • Warrior Martial Arts 171
  • Soul Fighters Texas 169
  • All American MMA 135
  • Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio 116
  • Lovato BJJ 108
  • Watkins BJJ Academy 104
  • Genesis Jiu Jitsu 100
  • Travis Lutter BJJ 88

Greatmats AGF Dallas Winter Classic grappling action

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

AKF Grappling and Throwing Tournament

Kyuki-Do Students Test Skills in Judo and Jiu Jitsu

AKF 2017 Grappling and Throwing Tournament Video
At the Metropolis Resort and Convention Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on March 4, there was standing room only at American Kyuki-Do Federation’s second-ever grappling and throwing tournament.AKF grappling and throwing champions Greatmats
At the Winter Grappling and Tournament, there were 74 regional competitors with 40 percent of them competing in grappling for their first time. Competitors came from as far away as Huntley, Illinois.youth grappling AKF kyuki-do Greatmats

The AKF Martial Arts Academy of Eau Claire produced 21 competitors, followed by New Richmond (Wisconsin) with 13 and Janesville (Wisconsin) with 10.
AKF grappling champions Greatmats
Divisions were split by age, size and experience levels. Competitors had the options of competing in judo, jiu jitsu, or hybrid version of the two.

About half of the competitors tested their skills in both judo and jiu jitsu.

AKF adult grappling action Greatmats

Tammy Turcotte, Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Amery’s chief instructor, said, ”My favorite part of the tournaments is seeing the camaraderie between students from different academies, parents getting to know each other, and the joy of competition.”

youth competing at AKF tournament 2017Learn more about American Kyuki-Do Federation Events.

AKF First-Of-Its-Kind Grappling and Throwing Tournament

Kyuki-Do National Grappling and Throwing Championship

The American Kyuki-Do Federation wrapped up its Greatmats-sponsored 2016 tournament season on October 1 with a first-of-its-kind Grappling and Throwing tournament held in Edgerton, WI. Previous AKF tournaments have had a heavy focus in tae kwon do; this tournament showcased the jiu jitsu and judo portions of the mixed martial art.

grappling and throwing at AKF Edgerton Wisconsin tournament GreatmatsThe tournament, which was held in the same building as the Kyuki-Do Martial Arts Academy of Edgerton, headed by black belt Aaron Stinski, found 23 of it nearly 90 competitors coming from a local crowd.

”It’s really nice when you’re the home team essentially,” Stinski said. ”There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be coming and competing at some type of level.”

The tournament also drew competitors from as far away as Lexington, Kentucky. AKF Lexington Martial Arts Academy head instructor and black belt Joe Moniot said his students were fired up after attending the Grappling and Throwing Tournament.

grappling action at AKF Grappling and throwing tournament Greatmats”I competed as well, for the first time in years,” Moniot said. ”Twelve of us competed and brought home 18 medals.”

”This tournament in particular has them really excited about competing again,” Moniot added. ”So much so, we have already started the participant list for the Spring 2017 Tournament of Champions. By listening to them recruiting their classmates, it seems as though we are likely to set a new record in number of participants from Lexington for this next tournament.”

Unlike previous AKF tournaments where participants can compete in numerous divisions such as open hand and weapons forms, sparring and board breaking where size has little to do with the competition, there was no such thing as a grand championship at the latest tournament.

Master Rick Steinmaier of the Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin Academy said in this tournament, ”Size really does make a difference.”

AKF kyuki-do youth winners 2016 GreatmatsFor that reason, both the judo (throwing) and jiu jitsu (grappling) portions of the tournament were broken down into weight class divisions. For those less comfortable with throws or submissions, there was also a novice division which followed the hybrid style of the traditional AKF tournaments.

Although judo and jiu jitsu are tertiary aspects of the Kyuki-Do curriculum, the federation does have a contingent of high level martial artists who hold rank or have experience in each of those disciplines. And with both arts growing in popularity, the federation decided to closely follow the international set of rules for both judo and jiu jitsu for the more advanced students competing in the inaugural National Grappling and Throwing Championship tournament.

”There was a division for anybody who wanted to compete and an age level for anyone who wanted to compete as well,” Stinski said. ”It was really nice to see all of those kids very proud of their accomplishments, regardless of where they placed – wearing the medals around and holding medals up for pictures. And a ton of pride in those eyes and those faces, and smiles that went from ear to ear. That was probably one of the more rewarding things.”

youth grappling at AKF grappling and throwing tournament Greatmats”It is about camaraderie,” Moniot added. ”My favorite part is being with so many people with similar interests and helping them grow even as I grow. The camaraderie is what keeps it all going strong for us.”

”We held special prep classes for the month leading up to the tournament,” Moniot added. ”A young man named Thomas was the only one who decided to compete in throwing and had not practiced this prior to the tournament. His success or failure was not what was amazing. Rather his fortitude in competing in many matches and never showing frustration. He just kept pushing forward with a smile on his face. Very impressive!”

Moniot, a martial arts veteran of more than 20 years who has competed both in and out of the AKF in many formats, is so impressed by the values of the AKF that he said despite the distance to AKF tournaments, ”We will compete only with the AKF until or unless a competition arises which I feel is safe and represents the same values as the AKF.”

youth competing at AKF kyuki-do tournament GreatmatsThe camaraderie and support system of the AKF spreads beyond the confines of its academy walls as well.

”At 1 a.m. Sunday morning, we pulled into the parking lot of our school to find the windows and trees were decorated by students who had not been able to attend,” Moniot said. ”Several of them, and even a couple people from a neighbor business, were here waiting to cheer us as we arrived. THAT’S COOL!”

 

 

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PMAA Wraps Up Season with Warriors United Monster Mash Victory

Final Warriors United Tournament Draws Competitors from Five States

Powers Martial Arts Monster Mash 2016
Warriors United Greatmats sponsored logoThe Warriors United Tournament Circuit wrapped up its 2016 season on October 22 with the Powers Martial Arts Monster Mash Tournament held in Toronto, Ohio.

Fresh from a Fall Brawl 5 tournament victory Team PMAA (Pennsylvania Martial Arts Alliance) defended its crown by claiming 1st place in the season finale. Dragon’s Den Mixed Martial Arts placed 2nd followed by Culver Karate Club in 3rd place.

The tournament drew competitors from five states.

SUGA Southeastern Championships Feature Love and Pride

youth No GI SUGA Southeastern Championships GreatmatsDespite weather and environmental challenges facing the southeastern United States, the South USA Grappling Association’s Southeastern Championship, sponsored by Greatmats, went forward as scheduled on October 1st in Orange Beach, Alabama, giving the tournament goers something to look forward to during difficult times.

”We had great kids/teens divisions,” said tournament director Rafael Ellwanger. ”(It was) so much fun to see the kids’ and parents’ relationship in victory and defeat – the love and pride they have for each other.”

adults grappling SUGA Southeastern Championships GreatmatsEllwanger complimented the City of Orange Beach and its staff for the great experience. ”The event center is great and now they are building a hotel next door to the venue,” Ellwanger said.

The Academy of Pensacola, the largest BJJ team in west Florida, brought a large number of competitors – as did Port City MMA of Mobile, Alabama. Gracie United, the largest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in the south was well represented.

SUGA Southeastern Championship belts GreatmatsOther schools participating in the tournament included Bayou Jui Jitsu, Capitao Jitu Jitsu,  Outlaw MMA, Foster, Alan Belcher, Team Valor, Clementi’s Gracie Barra, Machado and new school Checkmate Gulf Breeze.

One of the highlights was an adult brown belt match between Alan Pradillo and Joshua Guidry in which Pradillo was the victor. In the No Gi Division Advance, one of the top matches displayed Roman Pizzolato defeating Nunzio Camarata.

In the Women’s Division, Tyler Myers topped Rachel Beard in the division’s highlight match. White belt Isaac Foote put together the best performance in the Juvenile Division while blue belt Trey Crouse was tops in his division.

youth winner at SUGA Southeastern Championships GreatmatsSy Stoute won both Gi and No Gi gold medals in the 4-6 year old White/Gray Division. Gracie United’s Robert Derks also had an amazing performance in a tough final against Jesse Write form Captao JJ win what Ellwanger described as ”the best fight of the day.”

Ellwanger, who prides himself on running tournaments that start on time and stay on time, was pleased by all of the compliments he received about how well the events were run and the design of the tournament t-shirts.

All attendees at the Southeastern Championships as well as all 2016 SUGA tournaments, are eligible to enter themselves or others in Greatmats Photobomb Contest for a chance to win great prizes. For more information on the Greatmats Photobomb Contest, visit http://www.greatmats.com/martial-arts-mats/greatmats-photobomb-contest.php. t-shirts SUGA Southeastern Championships Greatmats

Learn more about the 2016 South USA Grappling Association Tournament Season

Southeastern Championships
South USA Grappling Association
Orange Beach AL
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Johnson, Hicks shine at SUGA BJJ Alabama State Championships

Alabama State Championships Action on Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats
grappling action SUGA Alabama State GreatmatsThe South USA Grappling Association Alabama State Championships brought 265 competitors from more than 17 gyms to Orange Beach, AL, on May 14.

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.

champion at SUGA Alabama State Championships GreatmatsAdam 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.

youth grappling SUGA Alabama State GreatmatsEvent 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 SUGA Alabama State event grappling Greatmats

Learn more about the 2016 South USA Grappling Association Tournament Season

9th Annual SUGA Southern Nationals a Success

adult grappling action SUGA nationals GreatmatsDec. 1, 2016 – The South USA Grappling Association (SUGA) recently hosted its 9th annual Southern Nationals tournament with its traditional week-before-Thanksgiving timing in Hammond, Louisiana.

As has been the case often this year, flooding in the region caused a few road blocks for participation, but the popular event still managed more than 230 competitors (even while competing with a LSU vs. Florida college football game in Baton Rouge).

”Football is a big thing in the south, and we know that, but for sure we did not count on that,” said tournament organizer Rafael Ellwanger.

With that being said, the 2016 Greatmats-sponsored and equipped tournament feataward winners at SUGA Southern Nationals Greatmatsured its most ever young female participants.

”The tournament was amazing,” Ellwanger said. ”I think it was one of the best events we’ve ever run.”

Ellwanger noted that most competitors made weight, families were having fun and coaches were very respectful.

The most competitive division was the Purple Belt Division, featuring strong performances from David Lee (Bayou Jiu Jitsu), Jared Reno (Gracie United Springfield) and Chris Crosby (Movement Martial Arts).

Young phenom Levi Johnson for Gracie United Ponchatoula continued to dominate, winning both his Gi and No Gi Divisions by submission in under a minute.

The Foote family, which recently opened its own gym, Gracie United Laplace, three months earlier, had six competitors who all performed well. The family consists of the patriarch, Daniel, and kids Titus (age 18), Isaac (age 16), Chloe (age 14), Naomi (age 9) and Abi (age 5).

grappling action SUGA Southern Nationals GreatmatsLenzie Buller of Gracie United Opelousas controlled the 7-9 year-old White/Gray Belt Division.

Gracie United Mandeville was represented well by Shane Venezia in the White Belt over 30 Division and Open Class as he won both.

Kash Clementi of Clementi Gladiators won a 4-6 year-old Gi Division match by points over Cole Bourquard of Gracie United Slidell to claim a division title.

Jacob Drury was the White Belt 16-17 year-old Division champion.

Trey Crouse of Gracie United Amite won the Juvenile Blue Belt Division.

Daesia Belozerows and Kylah Rogers topped their Women’s White Belt Juvenile Divisions.

Top performances were on display from Cyclone BJJ, Port City MMA, Clementi Gladiators, Florence Martial Arts, Bayou Jiu Jitsu and Gracie United.

South USA Grappling Association SUGA Southern Nationals greatmats”I could not be more impressed by the level of competition we had coming from these gyms,” Ellwanger said. ”The kid divisions were on fire.”

Also highlighting the event was the Hall of Fame Induction of former UFC fighter Kyle Bradley.

”Kyle is one of the best MMA fighters from Louisiana,” Ellwanger said.

Bradley (5-10, 170 pounds) holds a 19-12 professional record and most recently competed at the World Fighting Championships 46 in January.

The first Southern Nationals tournament marked SUGA’s (formerly Louisiana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) first-ever tournament and introduced the state’s first BJJ tournament.

Ellwanger, who founded the tournament, said it has had a major impact on the Jiu Jitsu growth in the south.

South USA Grappling Association SUGA adults grappling Greatmats”This is for sure one of the biggest milestone’s of my career,” he said. ”Almost every instructor in the south was a part-time instructor. Now, with our help and dedication to the sport, many of us are full timers and living the dream – helping others and changing their lives through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For sure, I am proud of that.”

As has been the tradition of this tournament, SUGA purchased new Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats for the tournament and sold off its old mats to tournament goers.

”People are still calling to ask when I will sell my mats again,” Ellwanger said. ”I told them – every year, the November event. … Our customers have something cool to buy for their loved ones.”

Learn more about the 2016 South USA Grappling Association Tournament Season