The world 30 years ago was a very different place. People didn’t have iPhones or Siri to answer their questions. People were only exposed to martial arts through movies, word of mouth, or seeing it in person. It’s incredible to see the growth of Gracie Barra and jiu-jitsu the last three decades. With over 500 schools worldwide now representing the red shield it’s amazing to think that it all started with just one. Giving credit to the Gracie Barra team, they really have helped spread Brazilian Jiu-jitsu into a martial art practiced globally.
On March 5th, 2016 the semi annual Southern California Compnet was held in Irvine, CA at Northwood High School. This tournament continues a long legacy of competition that has made Gracie Barra into one of the most successful academies and jiu-jitsu teams in the world.
The Gracie Barra Compnet is a great way to gain experience for both kids and adults. It’s a way to test your skills against others, along with challenging yourself both physically and mentally. Competition also provides an adrenalin rush that takes you as close to a street fight as possible while keeping the participants as safe as possible.
For kids the competition puts them in front of many familiar faces. Children are more comfortable seeing and interacting with other kids their age, and the coaches/professors they’re already familiar with. Seeing other students in similar uniform also provide kids with a comfortable environment to compete. This is often difficult to achieve at other tournaments, particularly with younger kids competing for the first time. Many times, kids invest a lot of emotion into their match. They’re friends and family are watching, and many younger kids have yet to learn the lesson of loosing. Fortunately the coaches are there for their students when the emotions of the tournament become overwhelming.
For Adults, it’s a great way to taste competition in a structure that isn’t as intense as a larger tournament. Adult competitors must remember that there can only be one winner. Every tournament has more losers than winners. For adults, the tournament is a test of their physicality, and their mental ability to apply what they have learned. Can their cardio and training hold up in a stress-testing situation like a tournament? Will they remember the technique they’ve drilled and practiced when the time comes? These are the questions competition help answer. Some people will experience fear, others excitement. Regardless of what they experience, the tournament fairs best to those who use their emotions advantageously.
Gracie Barra is in full competition training camp at GB headquarters in Irvine, CA. This year the camp is conducted by no other than Master Carlos Gracie Jr. himself. Under his tutelage all competitors are gaining the confidence and knowledge they will need to be successful during the upcoming Pan American Jiu-jitsu Championships. The event is held at the Bren Event Center not far from Gracie Barra headquarters. We hope to see everyone in Irvine representing Gracie Barra!
Writer: Patrick Flores
Photografer: Patrick Flores