Gracie Barra takes 2017 Kansas City AGF Title

Kansas City BJJ wins Adult No Gi Division

american grappling federation logo greatmatsGracie Barra St. Louis had a solid Overall Team victory at the 2017 American Grappling Federation’s Kansas City BJJ Championships. The tournament, sponsored by Greatmats, was held at the KCI Expo Center on August 12. Gracie Barra St. Louis had 67 more points than the second place finisher. They claimed three out of four divisional titles.

Gracie Barra took the Adult Gi division narrowly edging out Kansas City BJJ by just one point. Glory MMA claimed third place – 40 points behind Gracie Barra.

Brazil Academy put up the biggest fight against the divisional champions, Gracie Barra, in the kids divisions. Ultimately, Gracie Barra won the Kids Gi by 11 points and the Kids No Gi by 15 points. Glory MMA claimed third place in both divisions.

Kansas City BJJ was the only other team to claim a divisional championship. They had 20 points over Gracie Barra in the Adults No Gi Division. Valor Martial Arts claimed third place.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

  • Gracie Barra (St. Louis) 270
  • Kansas City BJJ 203
  • Glory MMA 172
  • Brazil Academy 136
  • Blue Springs Jiu Jitsu 131
  • Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu 104
  • Valor Martial Arts 64
  • Wichita Jiu Jitsu Club 53
  • Team Vava 45
  • Northland Grappling 45

Kids grappling AGF Kansas City BJJ Greatmatsadults grappling AGF Kansas City BJJ Greatmatsadults GI AGF Kansas City BJJ GreatmatsKids No Gi AGF Kansas City BJJ Greatmatsgrappling at AGF Kansas City BJJ Greatmats

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

2017 Kansas City BJJ Championships
American Grappling Federation
Kansas City MO 64153
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Alberto Da Silva – Tough guy finds peace with Jiu Jitsu

BJJ black belt turns from payback to paying it forward

By Brett Hart

A humbling street fight experience spurred a ”tough guy” from New York to join an underground jiu jitsu club, and eventually turn that into a career helping others.

Alberto Da Silva grappling AGF BJJ tournament Greatmats

Former United States Air Force staff sergeant Alberto Da Silva recalls first being exposed to the martial arts when his parents ”got tired of beating my butt and getting no response. So they paid someone else to do it.”

However, he had his eyes opened to the sport jiu jitsu in high school when a kid named Andre used it to knock him back a peg in high school.

”I used to think I was tough,” Da Silva said. ”He had just moved to New York from Brazil and was a yellow belt in jiu jitsu. … Sometime later we became friends.”

The duo, who ended up wrestling together for Long Island City High School in New York, would practice garage jiu-jitsu together throughout high school.

Alberto Da Silva Podium BJJ Tour Greatmats
After high school, Da Silva discovered a new fitness gym in Astoria Queens, and while working out there in 1999, he found a hidden room in the basement where a group of guys were training jiu jitsu under the instruction of Marcello Mello.

”It was there, that I earned my first real beating,” Da Silva said. ”I’ve been hooked to the science ever since.”

Now a 34-year-old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under professor Luiz Sergio ”Marra” Corra, Da Silva owns Marra Senki Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, an academy in Panama City, Florida, which he runs with the help of his wife, Pamela. His daughter even trains with them almost every day.

Alberto Da Silva family BJJ Greatmats
Reaching the rank of black belt wasn’t easy for Da Silva.

”It’s been a long, rocky road,” he said. ”I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve quit a few times.”

It was during those breaks that he joined the military, traveled and went to school.

”I’ve learned a lot and have many skills from the Air Force, but I’m happy to say my profession is helping others,” Da Silva said. ”I try to visit our headquarters in San Antonio, Marra Senki Jiu-Jitsu, at least once or twice a year to train with Professor Marra.”

Alberto Da Silva's academy Marra Senki Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Greatmats
In the meantime, he actively trains with Professor Filipe ”Zicro” Neto in Tallahassee, Florida.

The evolution of the sport is what really keeps Da Silva’s attention.

”It seems like it’s growing in multiple directions at the same time,” he said. ”Techniques are constantly changing and becoming more efficient. New methods and ideas are constantly on the rise. I think that’s all extremely exciting. It’s like a student of mine said, ‘Jiu-Jitsu is like standing at the beach, looking to the ocean.’ To me it means that no matter what, there will always be room to learn more.”

Da Silva’s students recently drove 5 hours to compete at the Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Jacksonville BJJ Championships at the Prime Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville, Florida, and brought home a third-place overall finish. His traveling team performed particularly well in the Kids No Gi Division where it placed second.

Da Silva most enjoys attending AGF tournament because of the crew.

”They’re professionals,” he said. ”You can tell that that enjoy what they do. They take the time to know the people around them. It’s like they have this southern hospitality to them. … AGF is the main organization our school in Panama City follows for competition.”

While his journey into jiu jitsu started with the desire to beat up his childhood nemesis, Da Silva is now motivated by peace.

”Jiu-Jitsu is my peace in this world,” he said. ”Even on the worst of days, I can always find peace in the struggle of a roll.”

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

Alberto Da Silva
Marra Senki Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Panama City FL 32405
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Joshua Bowlin team AGF Columbus BJJ championships Greatmats

Joshua Bowlin Motivated by the Daily Grind of BJJ

Georgia Instructor leads team to AGF Columbus Championship

By Brett Hart

Joshua Bowlin, 31, began his martial arts career looking to fight MMA. He trained in wrestling, boxing and Muay Thai, but it was is jiu jitsu training that really grabbed his attention.Joshua Bowlin grappling martial arts Greatmats

”Getting punched in the head gets old over time,” Bowlin jokes. ”BJJ to me is a huge outlet for stress, self expression and creativity. I practice it because it challenges my mind and body on a day-to-day basis.”

His jiu jitsu training began in a little self defense gym where he learned under the instruction of army ranger and Gracie Barra black belt, Pedro Lacerda. After Lacerda passed away due to a brain aneurysm at the age of 30 (in 2010), Bowlin went on to earn his black belt under Professor Fabio Costa of Gracie Barra Georgia and became owner and head instructor at Gracie Barra Columbus.

Joshua Bowlin teaching class Gracie Barra Columbus Greatmats

Bowlin says his favorite part about BJJ is the ”endless supply of knowledge. There’s always something to improve.”

”The grind motivates me,” he added. ”The day-to-day victories; whether it’s my own victories or my students’ victories. When a technique finally clicks, and there’s that little sparkle in their eyes, along with the ‘AHA!’ moment. (It’s) very gratifying.”

One of the competitive highlights for the MMA convert was defeating Samir Chantre in the finals of the Open Weight Adult Black Belt No Gi Division title at the 2016 Atlanta Open.

Joshua Bowlin with youth students Gracie Barra Columbus Greatmats”I firmly believe if you’re not challenging yourself and trying to be the best person you can be, you become stagnant and lose purpose of what’s important in life,” Bowlin said. ”Competition is the fastest way to find holes in our game. Being out there, feeling the adrenaline, and the pressure really imprints the memory of how the match transpires. So when you get back to the gym, you know exactly what you did wrong and what you have to work on.”

At the recent Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Columbus BJJ Championships on May 20, 2017, Bowlin’s Gracie Barra Columbus team claimed a dominant overall team victory, along with divisional titles in the Kids No Gi, Kids Gi and Adult Gi Divisions.

Joshua Bowlin team AGF Columbus BJJ championships Greatmats

”Watching the kids apply everything they’ve been taught – the sportsmanship and discipline each one of them displayed was incredible,” Bowlin said. ”It made me very proud. Also watching each one of our adults place was awesome. Those guys and girls train so hard and put everything they have into every session. It was awesome to see the hard work pay off.”

Bowlin is impressed by the professionalism and organization at American Grappling Federation events.

”The refs are great with the kids and know what they’re doing… super patient,” Bowlin said. ”I haven’t had a bad experience with them yet. We will always support AGF, especially when they visit Columbus, Georgia.”

Joshua Bowlin team Gracie Barra Columbus Greatmats

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

 

Joshua Bowlin
Gracie Barra Columbus
Columbus GA 31909
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Trenton Conway – Pushing Mental and Physical Boundaries

20-year-old Blue Blue Belt Absorbing All That is Jiu Jitsu

By Brett Hart

Trenton Conway grappling BJJ GreatmatsPushing mental and physical boundaries serve as plenty of motivation for 20-year-old Trenton Conway to continue is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.

He says the combination of the competitive side, self defense and brotherhood/sisterhood of the sport make it very rewarding to him.

”I have met amazing people through jiu jitsu and friendships that will last a lifetime,” Conway said. ”My dad got me started in jiu jitsu when I was around 10. When he took me to my first class, I was hooked.”

While still young in the art, the blue belt now runs Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Harrison, Arkansas, with the help of owner David Phelps and professor Luis Rubalcava.

Trenton Conway team photo GreatmatsHe strives daily to perfect his craft, whether teaching, training or learning how to run a school, and he views his biggest accomplishment thus far being staying active as a competitor while teaching kids and seeing them win tournaments.

Conway, who also has background in judo and golden gloves boxing says jiu jitsu has taught him confidence, discipline and meditation – all things he plans to pass along to his students.

”After all, they are the future of jiu jitsu,” he said.

When not performing his duties at Mixed Martial Arts Academy, he trains at Professor Rubalcava’s school in Springdale, Arkansas.

Trenton Conway and Luis Rubalcava Greatmats”God, family and everybody under the Rubalcava Jiu Jitsu affiliation motivate me in life and in jiu jitsu,” Conway said, noting that his father and little sister also train in jiu jitsu. ”You know that saying. A family that trains together stays together.”

Competing in the American Grappling Federation
He recently competed in the Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation’s Springfield BJJ Championships at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, on April 29, despite coming off an injury and moving up two weight classes. While he admits, he could have done better, Conway kept his head up saying, ”No excuses. There will be another one.”

Trenton Conway winner AGF tournament GreatmatsConway enjoys the AGF tournaments, saying they are some of the best run tournaments around.

”They are always on time,” he said. ”The staff is friendly, and there is high level jiu jitsu at every tournament.”

”You are going to have your great days in jiu jitsu and your bad days,” Conway added. ”The jiu jitsu journey is a roller coaster, mentally and physically. We have all had our days, but at the end of the day your jiu jitsu journey is your journey not any one else’s, so keep the journey going and keep rolling! It will be worth it in the end.”

Trenton Conway winner St Louis AGF tournament Greatmats
To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.
Trenton Conway
Mixed Martial Arts Academy
Harrison AR 72601
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AGF’s Phoenix BJJ Championships Recap

Gracie Barra edges GD Jiu Jitsu in Phoenix

Gracie Barra had tough competition at the 2017 American Grappling Federation’s Phoenix BJJ Championships. The tournament was held on July 29 at the Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 50 teams competed in the tournament.

The powerhouse Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school, Gracie Barra, claimed the overall team title with 316 points, edging out GD Jiu Jitsu by 23 points. CTA finished in third place with 252
GD Jiu Jitsu claimed first place in both of the kids divisions, winning Gi by 37 points and No Gi by 39 points. CTA took second in the Kids Gi division followed by Atos in third place. One Jiu Jitsu was the runner up in the Kids No Gi, while CTA finished in third.

Gracie Barra won the Adult No Gi Division by 20 points while Arizona Combat Sports placed second. Black Flag Jiu Jitsu Club claimed third place.

Gracie Barra dominated the Adult Gi division by 68 points over runner up CTA. GD Jiu Jitsu was the third place finisher.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

  • Gracie Barra 316
  • GD Jiu Jitsu 293
  • CTA 252
  • Black Flag Jiu Jitsu Club 138
  • Atos 117
  • One Jiu Jitsu 93
  • Arizona Combat Sports 77
  • Maracaba BJJ 76
  • Carlos Farias BJJ 58
  • Soul Fighters Arizona 50

Kids No Gi grappling AGF 2017 Phoenix GreatmatsKids Gi grappling AGF 2017 Phoenix Greatmatsagf-phoenix-bjj-0972Adults No Gi BJJ tournament AGF 2017 Phoenix GreatmatsAdults BJJ tournament AGF 2017 Phoenix Greatmats

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.
2017 Phoenix BJJ Championships
American Grappling Federation
Phoenix AZ 85048
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