Waynesville Grapplers compete in International Jiu Jitsu Tournament in Atlanta
A local group of Waynesville Grapplers from Basulto Academy of Defense traveled to an international Jiu Jitsu championship in Atlanta, Georgia to compete against fighters from around the Southeast and beyond. Coach Armando Basulto and his small squad of two women and one man traveled to the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Atlanta Open held Friday, Aug. 30 at the Georgia International Convention Center.
Competitors had six minutes to take down an opponent and submit them using chokes or joint-locks. Points were also awarded for achieving dominant position or takedowns to decide a match that did not end in a submission hold.
One of the biggest challenges for the team this year was cutting weight for some of the newer grapplers.
“Cutting weight safely to make a weight class is challenging under the best of circumstances,” said Coach Basulto, who had experience coaching boxing and wrestling and was assistant wrestling coach at Bethel Middle School and Pisgah High School previously. “But unlike in boxing or other combat sports, where weigh-ins are often held hours or even the night before the event, in IBJJF competitions you weigh in, wearing your uniform, the moment your division is called up. You step on the scale once and if you don’t make weight, you go home.
What this meant is that some of our fighters, especially the newer Grapplers, inexperienced with making weight, were exhausted before they even started. They stepped on the scale and went straight to the mat to fight, allotting very little time to rehydrate or replenish what they lost trying to make that weight class."
One of the highlights for the team was Blue Belt Light Feather Jessi Adams competing in a much higher weight class where she was weighed as much as 10 pounds less than her opponents. Yet with a great show of the “gentle art” of Jiu Jitsu in action, she was able to dominate and control her much heavier opponents. The team returned home with one silver medal and one bronze medal and lots of great memories.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu and MMA Classes are offered for adults and children at the Basulto Academy of Defense, located at 218 Branner Ave. in downtown Waynesville. For more information, visit www.gracienorthcarolina.com or call 230-5056.
Results from the competition include:
Jessi Adams — Silver medal, Women’s Blue Belt Featherweight
Lupe Gamez — Bronze medal, Women’s White Belt Light Featherweight
Jose Gamez — Fourth place, Men’s White Belt Lightweight