Last weekend was the 2014 Gracie Regionals at the San Jose expo center. Put on by Rose Gracie, daughter of UFC founder Rorion Graice, the Gracie regionals are unlike most tournaments in that they follow a submission only format. Staying true to the roots of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, each match is 15 minutes long submission only. If at at the end of the 15 minutes no one submitted both competitors would be disqualified. The only exception was the finals, which were all played with unlimited time limit.
In their weight classes, Kaniela Kahuanui and Benji Silva were both victorious! Radu Ursu had several tough matches and at the end of the day went home with a second place plaque! In the purple belt absolute division Benji, Kaniela, Joseph Duong, Andrew Kerfoot, and Ryan Walsh all represented CTA. In an amazing display of camaraderie, Benji (one of the favorites to close out the absolute) volunteered to bow out so that Ryan could play and Andrew bowed out to let Joe advance. Ryan had no matches in his weight division and it was awesome to see the team support and cheer one another on. He eventually had a very tough match that went the distance. Although he did everything he could to submit his opponent his opponents defense was just that much better and the match ended in a draw.
When the dust settled Kaniela advanced to the final and took him the absolute title. This made him the 2014 gracie regional weight and absolute champion. As happy as he was the team was happier for him. Some things are worth more than any trophies or medals, and on this day everyone was a winner. To see such a great team effort and display of camaraderie was truly amazing. One team, We > I. Congrats to everyone who competed, thanks to everyone who helped them train and huge MAHALO to everyone who came out to support. CTA would be nothing with out all of you.