|Saturday March 12, 2005. Aston Pacific Inn Resort & Conference Centre; White Rock, BC. White Rock played host to the 3 rd edition of the West Coast Submission Grappling championships and to be honest, never having been to this particular grappling event,
Saturday March 12, 2005. Aston Pacific Inn Resort & Conference Centre; White Rock, BC. White Rock played host to the 3 rd edition of the West Coast Submission Grappling championships and to be honest, never having been to this particular grappling event, I really had no idea what to expect. I have been to my fair share of various grappling, wrestling, and martial arts competitions and in my experience, finding a well organized and smoothly run operation is a crap shoot at best. Having difficulty in several areas of the event is commonplace, but I was pleasantly surprised with the how smoothly Combat Athletics ran the event on the whole. It appeared to be somewhat of a family affair as Co Promoters John Cooper hosted and MCed the event along with partner Cody Dillman, as Mr. Coopers mother Linda worked the concession stand in the corner hocking pizza and bottled water. BJJ instructor Marcus Soares was their as a coach, corner man, as well as vendor, as he had his BJJ gear up for sale, and even MMA Ring Report was their selling various MMA DVDs, Shoot fight gear, and Sprawl shorts. In between bouts they had a giant big screen TV showing various UFC event DVDs as well as a DJ spinning music and keeping the crowd and competitors entertained while they waited for their respective divisions to be called up by the MC.
Competitors from all over the West Coast including Teams such as Team Quest, Team Soares, Team Franco, and event John Punt and company from Nanaimo made their way to the event, along with a healthy crowd of family, friends and spectators who also made their way to White Rock to take in the competition. Trying to watch and photograph the event proved to be a challenge as the event took place with two mats, hosting matches simultaneously, there were several matches that I could not watch based on the fact that I could only be at one mat at any given time so I did miss a hefty chunk of the Amateur competitors. Having said that, I watched most of the advanced division as well as the Absolute Division with a little bit of the beginners thrown in for good measure over the course of the entertaining event. There were so many competitors that it would be impossible to mention everyone I thought made a strong account of themselves, but a couple of spirited contestants caught my eye.
The advanced 185 pound division proved to be an interesting one. In his first bout of the evening Chris Davis took his opponent to the limit with neither competitor gaining the advantage through the full 5 minute time limit and 3 minute overtime. It was decided that despite no points being scored that Davis would lose the Judges Decision based on aggressiveness or lack thereof. The obviously disappointed Davis, would not let that deter him however and based on the fact that it was in fact a tie, he asked to be put back into the bracket against Reg McGinty who based on the number of competitors had no opponent in the first round of the same tournament and had a by in the first round. The promoters agreed and after getting in he made the most of his opportunity and tapped out his opponent by triangle choke early in the contest and eventually took second place, losing only to Spencer Olson in the finals by points.
The aforementioned Reg McGinty, who is a Marcus Soares student was disgusted by his performance in his weight bracket losing by triangle choke early in his first bout, and spoke candidly to me afterwards, vowing redemption in the absolute division. He would get a measure of revenge as he performed well enough to get third place in the absolute division out of a total of twenty competitors of all shapes, sizes and abilities, bowing only to eventual winner Tom Montes, and Ilya Goldman who tapped him out with a triangle choke to take second place.
In other action some Mixed Martial Arts fighters were also on hand to test their grappling acumen and to keep sharp before upcoming MMA bouts.
Forde applies the finishing armbar
WFF veteran Paul Forde took second place in his division, winning his first bout impressively with a slick armbar, but was eventually outdone by Shaka Ferreira who took first place in the advanced 140 pound division.
Another future WFF fighter, a man known only as Mighty took third in the 170 pound beginner division. He will be seeing MMA action in the WFF 8 Shooto event that takes place in two weeks at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver.
Another MMA and Kickboxing competitor Ben Greer who has fought in the WFF as well, lost to Matt Kuramoto in the finals but still took second place in his division. He impressed with his patented Kimura resilience in full effect when he almost had his arm bent completely around his back but would not tap out and took second place for his efforts. He is another fighter that is looking to stay sharp for his upcoming MMA bout, also in the WFF 8 event later on in the month.
The event culminated in the new Absolute division which promised to anoint the first ever Submission King and award the grand prize of $150.00 dollars and a pair of Shoot Fight gear MMA gloves to the winner. In a grueling marathon that saw each competitor grapple for 5 minutes, upwards of 9 times on top of the bouts in their divisional competition, Tom Montes took the Absolute division in very impressive fashion. Montes who sported a hulking physique and what appeared to be a banner demeanor took the victory via points over second place finisher Ilya Goldman who was the only competitor in the division to wear a gi top, and third place competitor Reg McGinty. Goldman took home a Shoot fight Gear Shirt and a Combat Athletics Sweatshirt in his silver medal performance and Mr. Montes earned the right to be called the Submission King in the inaugural edition of the WCSGC absolute division.
If there was one small nit pick, it was that the event did run on a little longer then expected clearing out at about 7 pm instead of the scheduled 5 pm, mostly due to the Absolute Divison which saw 20 competitors competing for the right to be dubbed the Submission King and ran approximately 2 hours in itself. In their defense running late is common in grappling and other martial arts tournaments, in fact I dont think I have ever been to a tournament that has finished on time, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Other then the extended duration and the occasional miscue on announcing the wrong winner, everything played out as smoothly as I have ever seen.
Outside of the aforementioned Absolute division there were so many divisions competing with countless winners and losers that it would be impractical to do a rundown of all the action that took place on the night. However, a listing of the top 3 finishers in all the divisions is contained at the end of this article. On the whole I was actually pleasantly surprised with the level of grappling displayed by the myriad of competitors throughout the duration of the event. Most of the competitors appeared to have a very sound grappling background, and while conditioning did play a factor in some fights, it was solid throughout. It was certainly a much more impressive display then when I was competing, looking back it seemed everyone knew only two submissions, and most people including myself gassed out in the first minute of competition and tapped out from sheer exhaustion more often then from an armbar or chokehold. Times, they are a changing, and events like this are the new breed of competition that will usher in the new breed of grappler and Mixed martial Artist. It is rumored that they may hold another event in the fall of this year but if not, they will be hosting the 4 th annual West Coast Submission Grappling Championships in March or April of 2006, if this year was any indication, it appears that the WCSGC has a very bright future ahead indeed.
The Sushiboy rates Combat Athletics West Coast Grappling Championships 3 at 4 Tunas out of a full can of 5. MMARR-
Montes, Dillman, Cooper, Goldman
More info on the Combat Athletics gym as well as future events can be found at www.combatathletics.com
Winners of each division in the West Coast Submission Grappling Championships are as follows.
Division #: 02 Weight: Kids 10-12 Yrs Old Skill Level: All Levels First: Pierre Bonneau Studio West (Franco) Second: Dylan Deck Third: Jasmine Kailley
Division #: 03 Weight: Youths 13-14 yrs. Skill Level: All Levels First: Rory MacDonald Toshido Fighting Arts Second: Adam Lister White Rock Combat Club Third: Trevor Palmer Team Quest Fight Club
Division #: 21 Weight: 126-140lbs Skill Level: Amateur First: Hesam Zadeh Studio West (Franco) Second: Trevor Palmer Team Quest Fight Club Third: Adam Lister White Rock Combat Club
Division #: 22 Weight: 141-155lbs Skill Level: Amateur First: John Ashworth - Studio West (Franco) Second: Corey Wojick Third: Chris Dealy
Division #: 23 Weight: 156-170lbs Skill Level: Amateur First: Myles Merola Suitela Submission Second: Kyle Duque CSW Bellingham Third: Mighty
Division #: 24 Weight: 171-185lbs Skill Level: Amateur First: Cort Anderson Second: Ivan Kanesic Third: Will Davis
Division #: 25 Weight: 186-205lbs Skill Level: Amateur First: Sal Ram Second: Anthony Cross White Rock Combat Club Third: Dale Yee
Division #: 26 Weight: 206-229lbs Skill Level: Amateur First: Scott Garner Second: Ron Slawson Third: David McKinnon Nanaimo MMA
Division #: 27 Weight: 229+ Skill Level: Amateur First: Harbir Basi Creative Fighters Guild Second: Jason Williamson AIKI Jiu Jitsu Third: n/a
Division #: 31 Weight: 126-140lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Shaka Ferreira CSW Bellingham Second: Paul Forde Cocoon Athletics Third: Michael Guzman
Division #: 32 Weight: 141-155lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Matt Kuramoto Soares Jiu Jitsu Second: Ben Greer KB1 Third: Jordan Bills Suitela Submission
Division #: 33 Weight: 156-170lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Dean Henderson Second: Gabe Gibler Third: Leonard Tam Suitela Submission
Division #: 34 Weight: 171-185lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Spencer Olson Second: Chris Davis Third: Chris Cerna Cerna Jiu Jitsu
Division #: 35 Weight: 186-205lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Rommell Montes Second: Shane Ricci Cocoon Athletics Third: Maurice Parry
Division #: 36 Weight: 206-229lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Jeremiah Armstrong Nanaimo MMA Second: George Karnovic Soares BJJ Third: Tristan King Suitela Submission
Division #: 37 Weight: 229+lbs Skill Level: Advanced First: Michael Hawen Second: Tom Montes Suitela Submission Third: Paul Daniel AIKI Jiu Jitsu
Division #: 40 Weight: ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION KING Skill Level: NA
First: Tom Montes Suitela Submission, Second: Ilya Goldman (Universal Martial Arts), Third: Reg McGinty (Soares Jiu Jitsu)/Leonard Tam (Suitela Submission)