Gracie Nationals What You Did or Did Not See

I had the fortune to attend the Gracie Nationals on Saturday, Gi Day. Thanks Rose Gracie for hooking BJJ Legends Magazine up with press passes to the event. Rose smart, woman that she is, ran the matches in belt order so the black belts were in and done first thing in the morning and the white belts were the last to go later that evening.

The longest match in Gracie Nationals history went to Adult Men 146-155 pound purple belts Adrian Montemayor and Michael Ledesma who rolled for 80 minutes. Ledesma victorious. Montemayors wife also had a long match, read here.

Gracie National 2013 sponsors included One Coconut water ( and Undergi ( Through generous contributions, Gracie Nationals was able to donate $300 to Child Hope International ( Child Hope International is an organization to help orphaned children in Haiti.

Tim Freeman and his podcast InsideBJJ was in the house. ( I saw Matt Baker ( and Rose chiming in on the tournament-side podcast.

Congratulations to Melissa Davis on her women’s blue belt win after a long 30 minute match against Stephany Pulido. Although, it would be her last competition as blue belt, she was promoted to purple last Saturday.

Novel and well thought out was the kids “mats.” This area was two cordoned off mats where the kids could either run around (area 1) or do crafts (area 2).

Fame, fortune and celebrity in attendance included January 12 Strikeforce winner Josh Barnett, world champion Ranato Laranja, and Pat “Hawk” Hardy.

Now on to the LA FitExpo. If you don’t know already the Gracie Nationals takes place inside of the Los Angeles Fitness Expo at the LA Convention Center downtown. The FitExpo is attended by tens of thousands of people into all of types of fitness. Walking around never fails to entertain.


There was the Iron Man Magazine Naturally Championships were the body builders wore board shorts instead of the usual g-string speedo, or perhaps I missed that part of the show.

I thought this year there were few booths to buy your female body building competition bikinis. Blame the economy?

There was the USPA American Cup Powerlifting. Big people lifting big weights. In the center was a group electric slide / Zumba thing flanked by a Zumba pants booth. There was a booth selling stripper poles, and yes, there is more than one to choose from.

There were ridiculously fit men and women and there were ridiculously, ridiculously long lines to have your picture taken with these beautiful people.

There were supplements, supplements samples, supplement giveaways and supplement challenges. If you were willing to wait, you could leave with pounds of the stuff.

One of the most fascinating to me was the arm wrestling stage. After some watching, talking and coaching I found out the best players strategy is to come out strong and stay on. Unlike the Sly movie I didn’t see any arms broke.

There was CrossFit, and CrossFit Kids. There was jump rope. And there was the MET-Rx All-American Strongman. After sizing up the strongmen I couldn’t help but wonder what if I took one of these guys and brought them over to my gym… The ultimate Jiu-Jitsu player or a turtle stuck on its back.


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