The “ Absolute “ Challenge
Team Yemaso’s first highlight video is out and I wanted to reflect on an increasingly popular subject: a fighter’s technique versus his power & size, and the participation in absolute divisions from the lighter weight classes. Last weekend at the IBJJF Las Vegas Open, I took a relatively small group of competitors; I stress for all my medal chasers to compete in their absolute divisions as well, regardless of their size or weight. We had 4 warriors, including myself (Marcos “Yemaso” Torregrosa), win their divisions and fight in their respective absolute divisions; 3 brought home absolute medals; a gold for Richard Bothun (purple belt), Silver for me (black belt), and a Bronze for Eliot Kelly (brown belt).
The reason I stress the participation in the absolute division is because I believe in our Jiu Jitsu and I believe in our approach. Our perspective has little to do with size or power, and more to do with proper administration and perfect timing. We calculate meticulously and leave little to chance and many of our training methods prepare us for competitors at all weights. This is what has set our school apart, not only from those here in the Sacramento, CA area, but also most of the WORLD! Many people can talk about their schools all the BS they want but I feel that one of the best way to measure your Jiu Jitsu is through competition and our team has been racking up the medals!
Caio Terra, a man whom I admire in Jiu jitsu for his accomplishments and also for his lobbying against the abuse of steroids in Jiu Jitsu, teaches in San Jose, CA. He regularly trains with Samir Chantre ( feather Weight and IBJJF Las Vegas Open Absolute Champ 2 years in a row) and Osvaldo Augusto“Quexinho” (light weight). Many times these guys are fighting in their absolute divisions and taking top honors and it is due to the great jiu jitsu they practice. I have had the pleasure of witnessing Samir fight a couple of absolutes this year in both the IBJJFs San Francisco and Las Vegas. I can confirm that his technique translates very well. He took 2nd in San Fran and 1st in Vegas, no small feat for a feather weight! Caio Terra moves up to feather weight JUST to get matches because at times in his natural weight class there are no competitors (Something our own brown belt Eliot Kelly had to do in Vegas as well)! This weekend Caio Terra and I got to chat about some upcoming tourneys, and the presumably amazing chocolate he was eating in Europe! Lol, I don’t smoke; I rarely drink, but when you put some chocolate or some cookies in front of me… Caio feels my pain. The last time I trained with them they were selling some MEAN brigadeiro in the gym! I look forward to seeing them display their Jiu Jitsu in future absolutes.
Another fantastic example are my fellow soldiers at Team Lloyd Irvin, they constantly are fighting their divisions and the absolutes to show, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are the best at that belt NOT just division. Keenan Cornelious last year took his division and the absolute at EVERY major IBJJF tournament he participated in successfully acquiring the first ever “DOUBLE GRAND SLAM”! DJ Jackson JUST received his black belt and has already taken a few golds at weight and the absolute!
Is there any better way to prove that you are the best by taking on all comers , no matter what size/weight?! I think not and when the purists speak of Helio Gracie and his legacy I can think of no better way to exemplify that than to be an ant among giants and coming out on top! I look forward to seeing not only my students but the men I esteem continue to place their hats in the mix proving, without a doubt, that technique rules all!
Enjoy the first of MANY highlight reels to come!