On Saturday, March 18th, Gracie Barra Simi Valley competed in the AGF tournament at Moorpark High School. The tournament was a huge success, with about 60 students from the school competing in both the adult and kids divisions. The team’s hard work and dedication paid off and we took the trophy of Overall Champion in the tournament.
“In Jiu-Jitsu, we learn to respect and care for our training partners like are our own brothers. This attitude of brotherhood extends beyond the mat and into all aspects of our lives.” These words from Grandmaster Carlos Gracie ring true to the Gracie Barra Simi Valley Community.
This competition was a testament to the strong community-based culture at Gracie Barra Simi Valley. Competitors and non-competitors were there to cheer for their peers creating some unforgettable memories.
The coaches, some of them who were also competing on the same day, had the hard task of coaching more than 200 matches. Nevertheless, there is no impossible goal for a purpose-driven team, everyone was holding each other accountable and making sure that all the students had a Coach by their side. This was not easy to accomplish, but we are so passionate about this sport that we are always willing to go the extra mile for our students.
Our success in the AGF tournament was not overnight, for one month we worked hard during the 2-hour long competition classes. For each medal and trophy that we won, there is the sweat of all of our teammates. Without the training partners pushing us on a daily basis this wouldn’t be possible. As Grandmaster Carlos Gracie once said, “ be as just as enthusiastic about others’ victories as you are with yours”, this quote is a great description of the feeling that was shared among us last Saturday.
At Gracie Barra Simi Valley we welcome people of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds. We built an environment in which everyone trains together in harmony. Most of our students who competed are average men and women who have families to take care of and full-time jobs. For some of them, this was their first time experiencing a competition. For a lot of the kids who competed it was also their first tournament, it is incredible to see their growth in self-confidence after a couple of weeks of learning jiu-jitsu.
Our team left this tournament with the following awards: First place Overall; first place in both Gi and No-Gi Adults divisions; first place in the Gi Kids division and third place in the No-Gi kids division. But more important than the trophies were the amazing moments that we shared with all of our Gracie Barra Simi Valley family together.
In view of so many success stories, we are extremely grateful to be able to spread the benefits of our sport to over 750 people in our school. We believe in Jiu-Jitsu as a tool for self-development, this is in our mission statement, and it is a belief that we try to convey every day to our students. We believe that Jiu-Jitsu can be a turning point in one’s life, no matter the age, sex, or belief. We seek to create a culture in which challenges are seen as a way to make us better individuals. And when we doubt ourselves to overcome those challenges we know that we have like-minded individuals around us that we can rely on in the pursuit of the best version of ourselves.