Gracie Barra celebrated their 11th Compnet event in Irvine, California last weekend. With over 500 competitors in attendance and over double that in spectators, the tournament was a big success.
Gracie Barra added a new component to their tournament this year, and it was called the Pro Division. The Pro Division’s aim was to get more purple and brown belts to compete at the GB Compnet event, so Gracie Barra informed its schools that it was going to pay money to each of its 1st place divisional winners, and the registration flooded in.
Professor Marco Joca, who’s assisted in the organization of the Compnet tournaments since its very first event, said it was important for Gracie Barra to have more upper belts at the tournament. Marco said he and his GB Association team, Professors Marcio Feitosa and Flavio Almeida, know how much is required in order for a competitor to commit to the gentle art in order to develop a high level of Jiu-Jitsu and to put on a great show. He also acknowledged that there isn’t much money in gi competitions, but Gracie Barra is trying to improve that. “We are already doing a great job creating teaching career for our professors so they can make an honest and good living by teaching Jiu-Jitsu at our GB schools,” Marco said, “Now, with the Compnet Pro Divisions, we can contribute to the future of gi competitions in order to see high level athletes being properly rewarded. It’s a test still, and might change as we move forward, but it’s worth saying that GB’s main goal is to bring the BJJ lifestyle to everyone, and to keep contributing to the technical development of our art.”
Compnet 11 was mainly organized by Professors Nelson Monteiro and Rafael Ramos. Marco said they did a great job creating 15 pro divisions for the tournament. The competitors were from Southern California only. “We got world class GB competitors with several international titles to compete in Compnet 11,” Marco said, “Eventually, we will have Compnet Nationals, Pans and Worlds. We already have Compnet events happening in places like Brazil, Australia, the U.S., Canada, and Paraguay. Next year we’ll probably expand to areas like Europe, Japan, Panama, and a few more.”
Professor Marco said these GB-only events are extremely important to everyone within GB. “I personally competed in several events like this since I joined GB in 1991 and I know how important they are to our family,” he said, “Our mission statement really represents this sentiment: ‘We strive to be the competitive birthplace and proving grounds of champions — keeping the legacy alive!'”