sparring at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament with Greatmats Martial Arts Mats

Infinity Martial Arts – Mike Welch – National Championships

Infinity Martial Arts equips Schools and Tournaments With Greatmats

By Brett Hart

Infinity Martial Arts founder Mike Welch first discovered tricking while competing in tournaments as an American Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Now, a fifth-degree blackbelt, he is one of the nation’s premiere instructors in the sport. Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament Mike Welch and Orlowski

”That’s a really American style. I fell in love with it and then that’s what I started teaching,” Welch said. ”Now Infinity has six schools and it’s part of our programs. Kids can… learn the extreme stuff – the flashy weapons, the tricking and kicking – and again when we go to a tournament, and they’re throwing back flips and doubles and B twists and the tricks, it’s clutch. It’s better than slamming our feet on a wood floor.”

Recently Welch was approached by a good friend, and parent of one of his students, about starting his own tournament.

Infinity National Championships

sparring at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament with Greatmats Martial Arts Mats”We have the schools, so we have the judges and the competitors,” Welch said. ”Infinity is well known around the area through tournaments. It was kind of a perfect storm. We found the Kalahari and everything just… fit well like lego pieces.”

In 2016, Infinity Martial Arts hosted it inaugural Infinity National Championships, which drew approximately 300 competitors.

”A shout out to Jeff Orlowski and his wife Michelle Orlowski – my co-promoter,” Welch said. ”They put the details together. Everything you don’t see that’s behind the scenes, those details set us apart.”

The tournament featured eight competition rings and a stage equipped with Greatmats interlocking martial arts mats.

Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament”Mats are always a plus for a tournament,” Welch said. ”The Greatmats are nice because of how easy they are to put together and take apart. They lock in. They don’t bubble. They don’t stretch or anything like that. Our schools are using Greatmats, so it’s where we get some of the rings from.”

Before its second annual national championship tournament, which hosted competitors from 10 states and two countries, the tournament invested in more new mats from Greatmats.

demonstration on Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament”Again another Lego piece that just fit,” Welch said. The Infinity National Championships which host competitors of all ages utilizes three different 1×1 meter Greatmats interlocking Martial Arts Mats – Pro Martial Arts Mats Sport 20 mm, Martial Arts Karate Mat Premium 1 inch, and Grappling MMA Mats 1 5/8 Inch.

”The thicker ones come from the schools,” Welch said. ”We spend a little bit more money so that the schools have the thicker mats. It’s a nicer product. The thinner ones are easier to buy in bulk, but they work fantastic. None of the competitors are complaining about them. They’re not slipping. The mats aren’t sliding. They’re not coming apart, so even the thin mats – they’re perfect for our venue.”

Infinity Martial Arts

flipping on Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts TournamentAfter more than a quarter century of training in martial arts, Welch is now adding jiu jitsu to his arsenal, but says, ”Punching and kicking – That’s my pastime.”

While tricking is a relatively new form of martial arts, the Infinity Martial Arts’ program is especially unique in the upper Midwest, and it has grown to include six Wisconsin-based schools – located in Middleton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Oregon, Fitchburg/Verona and Evansville.

”All of our instructors are competitors,” Welch said. ”They’ve been national and world champions. Our team is coming right out of our schools so that definitely sets us apart. We’re elite when it comes to that side of the sport.”

”Greatmats was a great addition to our tournaments, to our schools.”

Mike Welch
Infinity Martial Arts
Middleton WI 53562
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.
adults grappling AGF Arkansas Open tournament Greatmats

2017 AGF Arkansas Open Recap

Team LDMA takes top overall honor, wins one division

Team LDMA claimed the overall victory after a hard fight at the 2017 American Grappling Federation’s Arkansas Open. The tournament was held at the Conway Expo and Event Center in Conway, Arkansas on July 22. The Arkansas Open was sponsored by Greatmats. Team LDMA scored a total of 437 points which was 102 more than the runner up, Rock City MMA. The third place team was Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu with 306 points.

Rocky City MMA claimed the Kids Gi Division and the Kids No Gi Division. Team LDMA took second in both of those divisions while Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu claimed third in both divisions as well.

Team LDMA finished with a strong 1st place in the Adults No Gi Division winning by 53 points. Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu finished 2nd in the division. West Side MMA – Little Rock claimed 3rd place in the Adults No Gi.

West Side MMA of Little Rock claimed the Adults Gi Division. Team LDMA was the runner-up in the division. Finishing out 3rd was Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores
  • Team LDMA 437
  • Rock City MMA 335
  • Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu 306
  • West Side MMA (Little Rock) 264
  • Qquick JJ 105
  • The House MMA Academy 94
  • Cerberus BJJ 76
  • Lawrence County Boxing 72
  • The Dungeon 68
  • Triton Fight Center 55

adults grappling AGF Arkansas Open tournament Greatmatsadults No Gi AGF Arkansas Open 2017 Greatmatsgrappling tournament AGF Arkansas Open GreatmatsAGF Kids Gi BJJ Arkansas Open GreatmatsAGF Kids No Gi BJJ Arkansas Open Greatmats

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

 

2017 Arkansas Open
American Grappling Federation
Conway AR 72032
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

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
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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
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Infinity National Champion Zoe Brown

14-Year-Old Karateka Sweeps Divisions, Grand Championships

By Brett Hart

Zoe Brown Infinity Nationals Karate 2017 GreatmatsAttending kinder dance class at the age of three opened the door to a passion in Karate for 14-year-old Zoe Brown of Ontario, Canada, who recently won Grand Championships in both Junior Japanese Forms and Junior Korean Forms at the Greatmats-sponsored Infinity National Championships in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

The junior black belt member of Team Infinity also won her divisions in creative forms, creative weapons, traditional weapons and sparring, making it a clean sweep in the two-day event.

This success is nothing new to the martial arts phenom, who has been competing for eight years and currently competes twice per month.

Zoe Brown Karate GreatmatsLast year, Brown won both the National Blackbelt League (NBL) and North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA) overall title for point fighting.

The Infinity National Championships impressed the seasoned competitor as much she did the judges.

”I love the location and the competition that is there, and also that it is run so well,” Brown said of the tournament held at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center. ”The Grands trophies are really cool too.”

The seed for Brown’s martial arts career was planted at the age of three when she had to walk past a karate school on her way to kinder dance class in the same building.

Zoe Brown 2016 Super Grands Greatmats”Every time we walked by the karate school to go to dance I would want to stop and watch the karate kids through the window,” Brown said. ”They always looked like they were having so much fun. One day my Mom and I went in and she signed me up, and that was it for dance.”

Brown currently trains under the instruction of Casey and Trevor Nash at United Family Martial Arts in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, as well as privately with Keith Weston.

”I love the training and the friendships and the constant learning,” Brown said.

Zoe Brown and Casey Nash Team Infinity Karate Greatmats”I’m very thankful to have coaches that push me, motivate me and believe in me. So, I’d like to thank Mike Welch (Infinity Martial Arts founder), Keith Weston and Trevor and Casey Nash. They are amazing!”

Greatmats is the official mat supplier of the Infinity National Championships. Learn more about the Infinity National Championships and other Greatmats-sponsored martial arts events.

Zoe Brown 2015 World Karate Championships GreatmatsZoe Brown
United Family Martial Arts
Hamilton Ontario
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Gracie Barra dominates AGF St. Louis BJJ Championships 2017

Rodrigo Vaghi BJJ in distant second place at St. Louis Tournament

At the American Grappling Federations’ St. Louis BJJ Championships, Gracie Barra claimed the overall team title by a landslide. The tournament was held at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri on July 15, 2017.
Gracie Barra claimed 732 points which was more than triple the points of second place finisher Rodrigo Vaghi BJJ with 239 points. Illinois BJJ Academy took third place with 185 points. Gracie Barra took all four divisional titles with its largest margin of victory of 172 points in the Adults No Gi division.

”St. Louis continues to grow,” said Tournament Organizer Chris Carlino. ” It was our largest tournament to date in Missouri.”

The closest division was in the Kids No Gi. Gracie Barra claimed the tile by 15 points. Illinois BJJ Academy claimed second while The House MMA Academy took third place.
Illinois BJJ Academy claimed second as well in the Kids Gi division following Gracie Barra by 68 points but ahead of Rodrigo Vaghi BJJ by 57 points.
Rodrigo Vaghi BJJ took second place in the Adults No Gi division edging out Absolute MMA. Rodrigo Vahi earned 121 of it points in the Adults Gi division, even though they finished 118 points behind Gracie Barra. Rubalcava Jiu Jitsu finished in a distant third in Adults Gi division.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores
Gracie Barra 732

Rodrigo Vaghi BJJ 239
Illinois BJJ Academy 185
Bquick JJ 81
Cavalo BJJ 67
BJJ Lifestyle Academy 55
The House MMA Academy 54
Rubalcava Jiu-Jitsu 51
Watson’s Martial Arts 49
American Top Team 36

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

adult BJJ tournament AGF St Louis Greatmatsadults division AGF St Louis GreatmatsBJJ tournament AGF St Louis 2017 GreatmatsBJJ Championships AGF St Louis 2017 GreatmatsAmerican Grappling Federation St Louis BJJ 2017 Greatmats

2017 St. Louis BJJ Championships
American Grappling Federation
St. Charles MO 63303
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Soul Fighters win AGF’s New Orleans BJJ Championships

AGF Draws Nearly All Louisiana Academys to New Orleans Championships

  The 2017 New Orleans BJJ Championships featured almost 400 competitors on June 10 held at the Alerio Center in Westwego, Louisiana. Soul Fighters Louisiana won the Overall Team Title by a landslide. The tournament was sponsored by Greatmats.

”We had representation from almost all of the schools in Louisiana, which was a really nice plus,” said tournament organizer, Chris Carlino. ”We had people competing from 7 different states as well.”

Soul Fighters Louisiana claimed the most points in Kids No Gi and Adults Gi divisions. They placed second in the Kids Gi and Adults No Gi divisions.

BJJ Revolution was the Overall Team runner up. They placed second in the Adults Gi and third in the Kids Gi divisions. They tied for sixth in the Kids No Gi division.

Cyclone BJJ claimed the Kids Gi Division title and placed second in the Kids No Gi and fourth in Adults Gi divisions. Cyclone BJJ placed third in Overall Team standings.

Clementi’s Gladiators Academy finished 38 points behind Soul Fighters for third place in the Kids No Gi Division.

Gracie Barra (Lake Charles) was the second runner up in the Adults No Gi Division, finishing 37 points behind BJJ Revolution.

No Limit Jiu Jitsu took third in the Adults Gi Division, coming in 123 points behind the divisional champ.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

  • Soul Fighters Louisiana 485
  • BJJ Revolution 276
  • Cyclone BJJ 255
  • No Limit Jiu Jitsu 121
  • Empire MMA 91
  • Clementi’s Gladiators Academy 83
  • Gracie Barra (Lake Charles) 76
  • Busted Knuckle MMA 75
  • Alan Belcher MMA 74
  • Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu 72

youth AGF New Orleans 2017 Greatmats youth grappling AGF New Orleans BJJ 2017 Greatmats AGF New Orleans BJJ Tournament 2017 Greatmats youth grappling at AGF New Orleans Greatmats youth AGF New Orleans BJJ Greatmats

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

2017 New Orleans BJJ Championships
American Grappling Federation
Westwego LA 70094
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

Grand Slam Open Nationals Has Something for Everyone

Infinity Martial Arts has Strong Showing in International Competition

By Brett Hart

May 3, 2017 — The 8th Annual Grand Slam Open Nationals brought in a large crowd to its open-style martial arts tournament in Richmond, Virginia, April 21 and 22. With nearly 500 competitors, ages 2-67, from more than 100 schools, 20 states and three countries, this showcase event gave plenty to see for its 1,300 spectators.

weapons competition Grand Slam Open Nationals 2017 Greatmats

The event, hosted by the Doss family and sponsored by Greatmats, featured a unique night show with unique grand champion awards – belt buckles for adults and gumball machines for fighters.

Taking the honor of bringing the most competitors were: United Family Karate (Canada), The Karate Dojo (Columbia, S.C.) and Floyd Sport Karate (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).

board breaking Grand Slam Open 2017 Karate Greatmats

”There was something for everyone,” said tournament organizer Jeff Doss. ”There were so many amazing teams and schools from small towns competing on a national level. We offered so many divisions, not just for forms or weapons, but also for fighting.”

Wisconsin-based Infinity Martial Arts put together a strong showing in the junior black belt forms and weapons divisions, winning three grand championships, team demo and team forms.

martial arts competition Grand Slam Open Nationals 2017 Greatmats

Grand Slam Martial Arts, the home school, had a well-rounded showing in both black belt and under belts in forms and sparring, winning three grand championships of its own as well as junior boys’ team fighting.

Another highlight was the performance of Team United from Canada which won four grand championships and swept all under belts and adults categories.

Elliot’s Family Karate, of Roanoke, Va., won most of its sparing divisions, including junior girls’ team sparring and three grand championships.

youth martial arts Grand Slam Open Nationals 2017 Greatmats

Individual highlight performances included the following:
– Men’s Fighting Grand Champion: Willie Hicks
– Women’s Fighting Grand Champion: Gina Thornton
– Senior Men’s Fighting Grand Champion: El Java Abdul Qadir and David Coppock
– Senior Women’s Fighting Grand Champion: Regena Thompson
– Adult Traditional Grand Champion: Jacob Cleary
– Adult Open Forms Grand Champion: Tim Wegert
– Adult Weapons Grand Champion: Marc Johnson
– Senior Forms Grand Champion: Eric Tremblay
– Junior Korean Grand Champion: Aaron Bailey
– Junior Japanese Grand Champion: Rebecca Young
– Junior Musical Forms Grand Champion: Noelle Jellison
– Junior Musical Weapons Grand Champion: Connor Chasteen
– Adult Breaking Champion: Rachel Proctor
– 9-Year-Old Open Weight Fighting Champion: Sean Culver
– 10-13-Year-Old Male Open Weight Fighting Champion: Elijah Reid
– 10-13-Year-Old Female Open Weight Fighting Champion: Victoria Austin
– 14-17-Year-Old Male Open Weight Fighting Champion: Yacub Kalifa
– 14-17-Year-Old Female Open Weight Fighting Champion: Alexa Fleishman
– Men’s Fighting Grand Champion Runner Up/Men’s Team Fighting Champion/Mixed Team Fighting Champion: Kevin Walker

kids martial arts tournament Grand Slam Open Nationals 2017 Greatmats

Learn more about The Grand Slam Open Nationals and other Greatmats-sponsored martial arts events.

 

Jeff Doss
Grand Slam Open Nationals
Richmond VA 23047
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2nd Annual Wisconsin State Taekwondo Championships

Meira Domash Sparring, iTiger Forms Highlight USA Taekwondo Tourney

USA Taekwondo Wisconsin State Championships Greatmats
Greatmats is a proud sponsor of the Wisconsin State Championships, sanctioned by USA Taekwondo. The 2017 state championships, which took place on April 2 at UW-Parkside in Kenosha, WI, featured approximately 250 competitors, ages 5 and up, and marked the second annual running of the event.

The Wisconsin State Taekwondo Championships included competition in the areas of sparring, forms and a demonstration team.

Medalists from the event, which is also a member of Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation are eligible to compete at the national level. It also opens the door to possible Olympic competition.

Wisconsin State Taekwondo vice chair Tyler Northern said, ”Meira Domash’s sparring match was a very high intensity match,” and added that there were a few girls from iTiger who put together phenomenal forms performances.

”We pride ourselves on the training and achievement of all of the athletes competing at the Wisconsin State Tournament, especially those who come from our school,” Northern said.

The USA Taekwondo Wisconsin State Tournament was equipped with Pro Martial Arts Mats Sport 20 mm mats from Greatmats.

USA Taekwondo Wisconsin State Tournament Greatmats
USA Taekwondo Wisconsin State Tournament referees Greatmats
youth USA Taekwondo Wisconsin State Champion Greatmats
USA Taekwondo Wisconsin State Champion Greatmats
Wisconsin State Championships
USA Taekwondo
Kenosha WI 53144
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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.