Winning Big at the IBJJF Denver Open
by Jake Bell
IBJJF Comes to Denver
For the past several years, many of our Easton athletes have traveled out of state so that they could compete at an IBJJF event. Frequently holding events on the coasts, Vegas and other major metropolitan areas, the IBJJF has never held an event in Colorado. That all changed on April 21st and 22nd with the inaugural IBJJF Denver International Open Gi and No Gi Tournament at Regis University.
For those of you who are new to the sport – or do not follow the competition scene in detail – the IBJJF is the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation and is the recognized governing body that has established the generally accepted guidelines in regards to belt promotions, competition rules, etc. The IBJJF hosts some of the most prestigious tournaments in the sport including Worlds, Pan Ams, American Nationals, Europeans, and the World Master. Often criticized for its emphasis on a point/submission system as opposed to pure submission, the IBJJF is undoubtedly the authority on BJJ tournament competition.
Taking the Easton BJJ Army to Battle
We knew that registration for such an event would prove challenging as the IBJJF limits enrollment to just two competitors per school. The easy way to eliminate this problem would be to have every Easton location register as its own school, but doing so would negate our ability to win the Team Title, something we’ve never been able to do at an out-of-state competition. Furthermore, even though we may be separated by a few miles, The Easton Army is one big family and it only seemed appropriate to do battle as such.
When it was all said and done, we had approximately 120 Easton competitors participate in the IBJJF Denver Open. The majority of which were registered under the Easton BJJ banner with a few exceptions that allowed us to get everyone on the mat who wanted to compete.
The Team Results
The Easton Medal Count between the gi and no gi tournaments:
(Not counting Division-of-One Walk-Throughs)
- 41 First Places
- 42 Second Places
- 45 Third Places
In an historic and unprecedented feet, Easton BJJ won the team title for both the gi and the no-gi tournament. Here are the final point standings:
DENVER INTERNATIONAL OPEN JIU-JITSU GI 2018
1 – Easton BJJ – 386
2 – Gracie Barra – 244
3 – Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu – 201
4 – Carlson Gracie Team – 123
5 – Atos Jiu-Jitsu – 102
6 – Prime Jiu-Jitsu Center – 101
7 – Alliance – 75
8 – CheckMat – 64
9 – Renato Tavares Association – 53
10 – GD Jiu-Jitsu Association – 53
DENVER INTERNATIONAL OPEN JIU-JITSU NO-GI 2018
1 – Easton BJJ – 207
2 – Gracie Barra – 139
3 – GFTeam Arkansas – 32
4 – Atos Jiu-Jitsu – 31
5 – Carlson Gracie Team – 28
6 – Grappling Unlimited – 24
7 – CheckMat – 19
8 – Zingano Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – 19
9 – Colorado BJJ – 19
10 – Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu – 19
Reflecting on the Win
Aside from the glory of winning (and the Acai Bowls) the most fulfilling aspect of this amazing weekend was being able to compete as a unified group. I remember one time Professor Ethan Snow said to me, “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not an individual sport…..I don’t know anyone who’s gotten good at jiu jitsu by themselves.” At the IBJJF Denver Open, that sentiment was put on display for everyone to see.
Finally, I’d like to recognize (anonymously) those who struggle with the anxiety of competing. This is a common topic of conversation, and most people experience it to some degree. From my perspective, this anxiety is born from a host of reasons and is always unique to the individual. But I think one of the most common causes is the fear of not wanting to let down one’s coaches, teammates and students. Obviously, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Stepping on the mat is a victory in unto itself, and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone putting themselves out there. If for some reason you have a desire to compete, but haven’t done so because of fear, please reach out to your Professors and Coaches. We are here for you and would love to see competition be a part of your journey.
As Professor Eliot always says, “Be scared and do it anyway.”
Great job, everyone!