Jake Bell Medals at New York Open
On July 19th, Jake Bell traveled to The City College of New York to compete in the IBJJF New York Open. Though he had done a few local tournaments since receiving his purple belt at Pan Ams earlier this year, this was his first big one at purple. Jake was nervous going into the tournament because he’d heard that the NY Open is one of the toughest IBJJF competitions after Worlds and Pan Ams, so he knew there would be some tough competitors participating. This was also his first time competing without a coach, which also added to his stress level before the tournament.
Despite his nervousness, Jake performed well, and he placed 2nd in his weight division and 3rd in open weight. He felt good about his results, even the losses. He won two matches by triangle choke, and lost two matches by points. He has been working hard on his defense lately, and he could feel his opponents being very aggressive, looking to submit him. He was glad he was able to stay safe even in his defeats.
He also became fast friends with a competitor in his weight class from Gracie Barra Orlando. Jake ended up losing to him in the finals, but was happy with the match, and they are planning to meet up again soon to train. For Jake, the best part about competing is the great friends he makes along the way. He keeps in touch with them, and even gets to visit them at their home academies.
Even more than competing, Jake loves helping newer competitors prepare for their first tournaments. Seeing them succeed is incredibly fulfilling. For students who are thinking about starting to compete, but who don’t know where to start, Jake recommends asking a coach for advice. For Jake the coach who he initially gravitated toward was Coach Shae, and he will never forget the time Shae spent with him to help prepare for his first tournament as a white belt. Jake thinks that one of the reasons that ETC is the best academy around is that everyone–at any level–is willing to help others improve.