In Dec.2012 I invited several other black belts to start the Midwest BJJ Alliance. I started the group with 5 other Machado black belts: Jamel McCurry, Raymond Trammell, Eric Smith, Montise Peterson, and Kevin Kellems.
The organization has several purposes:
1) Students have the benefit of not only training with the same people they train with at their academy, but all of their Jiu-Jitsu “cousins”: the students at all the other Machado affiliated academies in Michigan and surrounding areas.
2) Group trainings will help each other prepare for upcoming tournaments.
3) Members get to know all of the different black belts and other higher ranked instructors, who can help coach during tournaments. When one instructor is busy helping another student, others will be available to help.
4) By getting all of the Machado affiliated school’s students info, we can get a lot more support for bringing in the Machado brothers or other instructors. We can also have our own events, such as a seminar we are going to run with 6-10 black belts teaching.
Besides the Machados, the other organizations that are are influential in Michigan are Ribeiro and Caique.
I think in BJJ there is a tendency to look at it purely as a sport and students pay a lot of attention to current champions. We felt that though the Machados don’t compete anymore, the 5 brothers are an amazing resource! We don’t want our students to overlook the opportunity to benefit from those who have helped us so much. One of the forces that created this organization is loyalty to our teachers.
Our trainings are open to any student or friend of a Machado affiliated school.
Our first training, which we had advertised for less than 2 weeks, had 75 students in attendance.
The event was free and included a short warm up, over an hour of rolling, and 15 minutes of instruction.
Since the students loved it so much, and the next event is going to be advertised much more, we will most likely get 125 or more students. Now we are working through ideas on how to accommodate so many students, which will probably mean white and blue belts in one session, and purple and blue belts in another.
We are now planning out the rest of 2013- which tournaments we are going to be supporting, as well as group trainings and seminars.