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 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 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

Gracie Barra Sweeps Atlanta BJJ Championships

2016 AGF Atlanta BJJ Championships youth action GreatmatsThe American Grappling Federation wrapped up its 2016 tournament season on Dec. 17 in Duluth, Georgia, with the Greatmats-sponsored Atlanta BJJ Championships, and Gracie Barra put together the strongest showing of any academy to claim first place in the team standings.

Gracie Barra finished almost 250 points ahead of runner up De La Riva USA, sweeping all four divisions, while Roberto Traven BJJ placed third.

grappling action Atlanta BJJ Championship AGF GreatmatsDe La Riva USA claimed the No. 2 spot in both the Kids Gi and Kids No Gi Divisions. Placing third in the Kids No Gi Division was The Bunker with 65 points. Roberto Traven BJJ tallied 54 points in the Kids Gi division to claim third place.

In the Adult No Gi Division, it was SBJ claiming second place with 27 points, followed by Agoge Combatives, with 24 points.

X3 Sports was the Adult Gi Division runner up with 33 points, followed by Nova Uniao with 30 points.
adult No Gi AGF Atlanta BJJ Championships Greatmats
Top 10 Overall Team Scores
 Gracie Barra 429

De La Riva USA 180
Roberto Traven BJJ 113
Knuckle Up 84
Twin Tigers BJJ 77
Union Team 70
The Bunker 68
No Limit 61
Soul Fighters BJJ (Gulf Coast) 59

SBJ 57

adults No Gi AGF Atlanta Championships GreatmatsTo learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

2016 American Grappling Federation Nationals Recap

Renato Tavares Association Wins AGF Nationals Team Title

American Grappling Federation Nationals

2016 AGF Nationals grappling action GreatmatsThe 2016 American Grappling Federation Nationals was one to remember for the Renato Tavares Association as it won the overall team title by 29 points over second place Clinch Martial Arts Academy at the Cox Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Renato Tavares accumulated 512 team points, winning the Kids Gi Division with 162 points and placing second in the Adult Gi (145 points), Adult No Gi (89 points) and Kids No Go Divisions (116 points).

youth No Gi competition AGF Nationals Tournament 2016 GreatmatsClinch Martial Arts finished with 483 points and won the Adult No Gi (209 points) and Adult Gi (156 points) Division. It also finished third in the Kids No Gi Division with 52 points.

Claiming third place overall was Lavato BJJ with 415 points. Lovato BJJ was the Kids No Gi Division champion (120 points) and placed second in the Kids Gi Division (149 points).

youth No Gi AGF 2016 Nationals Tulsa GreatmatsAlso making a strong showing with a third place finish in the Kids Gi Division was Team LDMA. Sandro Sampaio BJJ Academy was the second runner up in the Adult No Gi Division.

The American Grappling Federation kicks off its 2017 tournament season on Jan 22. in Duncanville, Texas, with the Dallas Winter Classic.

Top 10 Overall Team Points
Renato Tavares Association 512
Clinch Martial Arts Academy 483
Lovato BJJ 415
Sandro Sampaio Academy 151
Team LDMA 150
Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu 143
Guetho Texas 138
North Texas MMA (Magness) 132
Dreadnought BJJ 88
Infinity Martial Arts 88

 youth No Gi action 2016 AGF Nationals Greatmats
To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.
adults competing AGF Nationals Tulsa Greatmats 2016

AGF St. Louis BJJ Championships

AGF St. Louis Championships Video
The American Grappling Federation held its 2016 St. Louis BJJ Championships on Nov. 19 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois. Competitors from approximately 60 martial arts academies participated in the event.
American Grappling Federation
Collinsville IL
adult No Gi St Louis BJJ Championships AGF Greatmats
adult No Gi St Louis Championships AGF Greatmats
grappling St Louis BJJ Championships AGF Greatmats
adult No Gi competition St Louis BJJ Championships AGF Greatmats

Team LDMA Sweeps Arkansas State BJJ Championships

Team LDMA rocked the Greatmats-sponsored 2016 American Grappling Federation Arkansas State BJJ Championships AGF Arkansas State BJJ Championships Greatmatson Nov. 5 at the Conway Expo and Fairgrounds in Conway, Arkansas. The Martial Arts Academy won the overall team title with 519 points, while second-place Rubalcalva Jiu-Jitsu was more than 200 points behind at 294. Rock City MMA claimed third place in the 68-team field with a score of 246.

adult competition AGF Arkansas State BJJ Championships GreatmatsThe same three teams followed an identical team placing order in the Kids No Gi Division with Team LDMA tallying 115 points, Rubalcalva Jitsu notching 91 points and Rock City MMA finishing with 84 points.

Team LDMA claimed all four division titles, earning between 115 and 157 team points in each. Rock City moved up to second place in the Kids Gi Division (110 points) followed by Alliance BJJ (73 points). adults grappling at AGF Arkansas State BJJ Championships Greatmats

In the Adult No Gi Division, it was West Side MMA claiming the No. 2 spot with 80 points, followed by Rubalcalva Jiu-Jitsu with 59 points.

Rubalcalva Jiu-Jitsu racked up 84 points in the Adults Gi Division to edge out West Side MMA for second place. West Side MMA finished with 77 points in the division.

youth grappling AGF Arkansas State BJJ Championships GreatmatsTop 10 Overall Team Scores
Team LDMA 519, Rubalcalva Jiu-Jitsu 294, Rock City MMA 246, West Side MMA 244, Kron Gracie Jiu Jitsu 137, Cerberus BJJ 82, The House MMA Academy 81, Alliance BJJ 78, BQuick JJ 59, Clinch Martial Arts Academy 59

AGF Arkansas State BJJ Championships Greatmats 2016
To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.