In San Bernardino CA, the Kids Worlds International Championships for kids and teens just wrapped up their 6th year. This year’s gi team trophies winners were: First place ATOS Jiu-Jitsu, second place United BJJ, third place Gracie Barra. In the no-gi category first place again went to ATOS Jiu-Jitsu, second place to United BJJ and third place to Ferny Jiu-Jitsu. Congratulations to these teams and all the competitors who made it onto the podium.
Kids Worlds is the work of a team led by Rommel Dunbar. Rommel is a four stripe black belt under Pedro Carvalho and a seven time world champion. He runs United Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with two locations in Moreno Valley and Riverside California.
At this year’s Kids Worlds there were over 1000 competitors with 239 gi divisions and 150 no-gi divisions. The youngest division was 2009 or kids that are 4-5 years old. The lightest weight class was 39.5 pounds. The array of weight classes / age groups was dizzying.
On Saturday, 9th degree coral belt, Francisco Mansor was at the Kids Worlds. He met and talked with kids and parents. Lucky kids got to take their picture on the podium with the famous coral belt.
All told there were 250 academies at the tournament and some six countries including Australia New Zealand, Dubai , Canada, Mexico, Brazil. The Kids Worlds tournaments follow IBJJF rules and regulations.
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 (http://www.onedrinks.com/) and Undergi (http://undergi.com/). Through generous contributions, Gracie Nationals was able to donate $300 to Child Hope International (http://childhope.org/). Child Hope International is an organization to help orphaned children in Haiti.
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.