By Professor Vellore Caballero, Easton Training Center Centennial
Kids Worlds 2018
Ella Fitzgerald’s summertime livin’ might be easy, but for the youth competitors from every Easton academy on the front range, this was a summer of hard work and competition. The Easton squad headed to Long Beach, CA, in July to take on some of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu youth competitors in the world. These kids set their sights on the goal of a Kid’s Worlds gold medal, and the summer didn’t slow them down one bit. For the first time ever, students from several different academies came together to train as one unified Easton team to prepare for this international test of their skills.
The coaches and professors from each location worked in concert to prepare the kids for the tournament, and they really did an amazing job. Each location had specific training meant to help get their athletes ready, and there were also group trainings held at a couple of the academies, as well as strength and conditioning at Landow Performance in Centennial. The amount of growth, mentally and physically, was tremendous! The work was hard, but the outcome was certainly worth it.
The Big Day
On the day of the competition, everyone was excited and you could feel the energy in the room! This was their day and they knew it! We had 33 ready-to-go competitors from all of the Easton academies combined, and we ended up with 11 gold, 12 silver, and 1 bronze. We also won the overall team competition with 136 team points. The second place team scored 75. This was a huge accomplishment for the team, as it shows that we can make some waves on the tournament scene anywhere we take a team. Now, we’ll set our sights on some of these bigger tournaments!
The competition was amazing, but the best part of the trip was the three days after that we spent as a team, bonding and building relationships. Kids and parents from different Easton academies were able to get to know each other and enjoy sunny California. We had a couple of days at the beach, one day paddle boarding, and one day at Knott’s Berry Farm. Special thanks to everyone who helped make this a reality: Professor Easton for making this all possible, and to the parents, coaches, professors, and competitors. And of course, an extra special thanks to the people who donated their time or money to help us assist a few of the group that needed help making the trip happen.