2017 AKF Summer Tournament of Champions Recap

Vazquez youngest ever Grand Champion, Madrigal wins 4th Championship

Angelina Vazquez 2017 AKF Summer Tournament kyuki-do GreatmatsThe 2017 American Kyuki-Do Federation Tournament of Champions was held on August 12 at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The tournament had over 120 competitors from Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, and Georgia. Martial artists Angelina Vazquez and Reginald Madrigal emerged as the Black Belt Grand Champions.

Vazquez, of Geneva, Illinois, won the Under 18 Grand Championship and is the youngest black belt to achieve this honor. She trains under Mr. Chris Koffenberger.

Reginald Madrigal competing 2017 AKF Summer Tournament GreatmatsThe 18 and Over Grand Championship was claimed by Madrigal, of Elgin, Illinois, for the fourth time. He trains under Masters Jeff Kim and Rick Steainmaier.

Joe Moniot, of Lexington, Kentucky, brought 17 students with him to his final tournament before earning his Master distinction. Ms. Emily Brown of Oconee, Geroge, traveled the farthest to compete.

Ellie Murphy, from Lexington, was the winner of VIP pass to AKF’s annual Black Belt Extravaganza at Wisconsin Dells held November 3-5.

Nicole Holden, of Janesville, Wisconsin, and Chester Gustavson, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, competed in their final tournament before advancing to 5th Dan (Master).

Joe Moniot 2017 AKF Summer Tournament Greatmats

The next American Kyuki-Do Federation tournament is the Grappling and Throwing Tournament at Bigfoot High School in Walworth, Wisconsin.

Federation members can register to compete at http://www.kyukidomartialarts.com.

Learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Kyuki-Do Federation events and athletes.

Chester Gustavson 2017 AKF Summer Tournament kyuki-do Greatmatssparring at 2017 AKF Summer Tournament kyuki-do Greatmats

2017 Summer Tournament of Champions
American Kyuki-Do Federation
Eau Claire WI 54701
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Drew McCurdy 4-Time AKF Grand Champion

Four Time Grand Champion Still Fond of ‘Firsts’

By Brett Hart

Drew McCurdy Amercian Kyuki-Do Federation Grand Champion GreatmatsBecoming a black belt has been a lifelong dream for Drew McCurdy, and in May of 2001, he began that journey when he walked in the doors of Kim’s Black Belt Academy in Elgin, Illinois.

”I thought a place with black belt in their name was a good place to start,” McCurdy said.

Now a third-degree black belt in Kyuki-Do, McCurdy has expanded his martial arts repertoire to include Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Jeet Kune Do and Kali techniques.

With years of training and a multitude of disciplines under his belt, McCurdy’s list of instructors is equally as long, including the likes of Rick Steinmaier, Jeff Kim, Rick Bjorquist, Christine Bjorquist, Chris Koffenberger, Lloyd Holden, John Canton, Reggie Madrigal and Yolanda Morales, among others.

McCurdy has been putting his training to good use at American Kyuki-Do Federation tournaments where he recently claimed his fourth Grand Champion title at the 2017 Spring Tournament of Champions.

”It’s an honor every time,” McCurdy said. ”I compete for my academy and the kids around Kyuki-do.”

Drew McCurdy Board Breaking Amercian Kyuki-Do Federation GreatmatsMcCurdy won both his sparring and breaking divisions while claiming second in forms and weapons, leaving it as no surprise that sparring and breaking are his favorite events.

”Sparring really tests some of the actual applications and techniques,” McCurdy said. ”There’s no substitute for knowing a mistake could cost you a shot to the head. Breaking really tests your physical and mental limitations as well, especially now that it’s at the end (of the tournament). Do you still have what it takes to break these boards after two hours of vigorous activity?”

The Area Director at Apex Fun Run For elementary schools in Illinois and Wisconsin, McCurdy currently does his martial arts training at Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin (formerly Kim’s Black Belt Academy) and Fusion Fitness MMA in Elgin.

With all he’s accomplished in the sport, McCurdy is still most proud of achieving his Kyuki-Do black belt.

”Looking back, I can’t believe the amount of work I put into it,” McCurdy said.

2016 AKF Spring Tournament kyuki-do Grand Champions GreatmatsIn similar respect, he views winning his first grand championship as one of his biggest achievements.

”It took quite a few tournaments before I achieved one,” he said. ”I almost thought it wouldn’t happen.”

Great competition from colleagues such as Nikki Holden, Reggie Madrigal and Joe Moniot help keep McCurdy motivated to continue competing.

”It’s about growth,” he said. ”There’s no animosity before or after.”

His passion for martial arts has also rubbed off on his family. His wife is now a brown stripe and his oldest child, Devin, is a 5-year-old red belt in Pre-Kyuki-Do.

”My two-year-old doesn’t currently train, but in her mind, she is a 12th Dan Master!” he added. ”Kyukido family is real – not just a saying. If I want to go hard and train hard with adults, I can do that. If I want to my kids to learn discipline self defense and a host of other qualities, I can give them that. If I want to train as a family, I can do that. There are a lot of places where you can only get one of those things.”

”I’d like to thank Greatmats for their continued sponsorship of the tournaments,” he said. ”The word is still out on Eau Claire (Summer Tournament of Champions) for me, but I will see if I can make it to Nikki Holden’s last tournament before master. Plus the competition in Eau Claire is always awesome!”

Learn more about the American Kyuki-Do Federation events and athletes.

Drew McCurdy
Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Elgin
Elgin IL
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Blood or No Blood, BJJ is Family Business for Blake Dvorak

Train, Compete and Teach: Tools for Bettering Self and Others

By Brett Hart

Blake Dvorak 2016 AGF Dallas Summer Classic BJJ GreatmatsWhat began as a father/son bonding excursion turned into a lifestyle for 24-year-old Blake Dvorak. Big fans of the UFC, Blake and his father, Dave, spent a lot of time watching the mixed martial arts fights. One day a co-worker of Dave’s mentioned that he was training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at a local academy, and the father/son duo decided to check it out.

”We went in and tried a class, and we’ve been hooked ever since,” Dvorak said, noting BJJ is his first and only martial art. ”From the first time I stepped on the mat, I’ve been consumed by it, and didn’t want any other art to get in my way of progressing.”

His family is equally as thrilled with Blake finding his calling in the sport.

”The first time my wife’s parents came to watch me compete was at a BJJ classic event, which is a no points/no time limit event,” he said. ”My match went for over 17 min. Once it was over, and I finally landed my submission, I began to walk over to them and say hi, but quickly had to run to a trash can to vomit. They were a little weirded out, but after a few more events, they were on board.”

Now a 4-stripe brown belt, competing at between 145-160 pounds, Dvorak will celebrate 10 years in the sport this September. Along the way, he and Dave (also a brown belt) have accomplished many feats.

As a blue belt juvenile, Blake placed second at the Dallas ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) trials. He’s also earned bronze medals at the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) Dallas open in both Gi and NoGi competition. Twice he’s competed in F2W (Fight to Win) Pro events.

”I have always had my best results at submission only events,” Blake said.

Blake Dvorak 2015 AGF Oklahoma BJJ Champion GreatmatsBut what may just take the cake for his own personal satisfaction is leading his team to multiple team titles at American Grappling Federation (AGF) championship tournaments.

”My favorite thing about BJJ is teaching,” Blake said. ”I was fortunate to have the opportunity to run the kids program at my previous academy, and instantly knew that I wanted to do this forever. Having someone come through the door looking for something – be it, fitness, camaraderie, a new skill, or whatever they may be looking for and helping them find it. I’ve seen men, women and kids become new people, and no accomplishment I’ve had in the sport compares to that.”

Blake Dvorak and Allen Mohler trophy BJJ GreatmatsThree years ago, Blake and Dave opened their own academy – Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio – in Denton, Texas. When he’s not teaching or training at his academy, Blake is training in Coppell, Texas at Mohler MMA under the instruction of 4th degree black belt Professor Allen Mohler.

When it comes to competing, AGF tournaments are where Blake finds himself most comfortable.

”The American Grappling Federation is like a second home to me,” Blake said. ”Chris (Carlino) and the team are always working hard to make their events better, and it shows every time. Best customer service; the medals are high quality; professional photos of competitors and podium winners; and it’s a family business. If there is an AGF tournament in town, you’ll always see me and my team on the mats.”

At the recent Greatmats-sponsored AGF Winter Classic on Jan. 22 in Duncanville, Texas, Blake won his first NoGi match by a heel hook but injured a rib in his finals match and had to bow out the rest of the event. Meanwhile, much to his delight, his team put together a strong performance, earning a second place in the Adult NoGi Division and third place in the Adult Gi Division.

”BJJ is a part of my life,” Blake said. ”It’s how I make my living, how I deal with my stress, how I make new friends, how I get to give back to my community and help people find what BJJ has to offer.”

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

Blake Dvorak
Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio
Corinth TX 76208
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

Gracie Barra wins AGF’s Jacksonville BJJ Overall Championship

Brazilian Top Team Jacksonville owns Adult Divisions

Gracie Barra Jacksonville picked up a convincing overall team win at the first-ever American Grappling Federation Jacksonville BJJ Championships on July 1. The tournament was held at the Prim Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville, Florida. The Championships was sponsored by Greatmats.

The Gracie Barra squad topped runner up Brazilian Top Team Jacksonsville by 51 points in the overall team standings while each team collected two Divisional Titles.

Brazilian Top Team Jacksonville claimed the Adult Gi and No Gi Divisions while Gracie Barra topped the Kids Gi and No Gi Divisions.

Marra Senki Jiu Jitsu took second place in the Kids No Gi Division while Searcy Wrestling Club was third.

Soul Fighters Flagler was the Kids Gi runner up, followed by Twin Tigers BJJ in third.

Jean Jacques Machado edged out Swamp Academy by one point to earn second place in the Adults No Gi Division.

Gracie Barra was second in the Adult Gi Division, followed by American Top Team.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

  • Gracie Barra (Jacksonville) 243
  • Brazilian Top Team Jacksonville 192
  • Marra Senki Jiu Jitsu 117
  • Spartan Academy 98
  • Five Star Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 79
  • Jean Jacques Machado 76
  • Swamp Academy 63
  • Twin Tigers BJJ 57
  • Soul Fighters Flagler 52
  • American Top Team 48

kids grappling AGF Jacksonville BJJ Greatmatskids no gi AGF Jacksonville BJJ Greatmats 2017youth grappling AGF Jacksonville BJJ Greatmatsgrappling action AGF Jacksonville BJJ Greatmatsgrappling action AGF Jacksonville BJJ tournament Greatmats 2017

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

2017 Jacksonville BJJ Championships
American Grappling Federation
Jacksonville FL 32204
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

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
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

South USA Grappling Louisiana State Championships a Success

First SUGA Tournament of The Year Provides Plenty of Highlights

2017 kids competition SUGA Louisiana Greatmats
Feb. 1, 2017 — The South USA Grappling Association’s first tournament of 2017 brought out numerous strong performances from grappler’s age 4 and up.
Highlighting the approximately 250 competitor field at Chappapeela Sports Park in Hammond, Louisiana, on Jan. 28, for the Greatmats-sponsored Louisiana State Championships were these outstanding athletes.

4-6 Year Old Division: Kamden Alford

7-9 Year Old Division: Levi Johnson

10-12 Year Old Division: Autumn Crews

13-15 Year Old Division: Kaleb Miller

Juvenile Blue Belt Division: Isaac Foote

Juvenile White Belt Division: Kyla Rogers and Daesia Belozerows

Adult Female Blue Belt Division: Rachel Beard

Adult Blue Belt Division: Jesse Roberts

Adult Purple Belt and No Gi Advance Divisions: Zachary Cothren

Master White Belt and Beginner Master No Gi Divisions: Reuben Billiot

Senior White Belt and Biginner Senior No Gi Divisions: Mark Dominguez

kids division SUGA Lousiana State Championships Greatmatskids competing Louisiana 2017 SUGA Greatmatskids competition SUGA louisiana state greatmatsadults grappling SUGA Louisiana State Tournament Greatmats

Louisiana State Championships
South USA Grappling Association
Hammond LA
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.