Okay I admit this blog post is late, like almost 2 weeks overdue. I’ve got no excuse this time. I just played the waiting game and took too long getting this written. My bad.
Anyway on to the news. On Saturday, October 5th we sent a team of competitors up to Pennsylvania to compete at the NAGA Grappling Tournament. In the past we’ve always gone to this event. The level is good and it’s not that far of a drive, simple enough.
Before I go any further I’d just like to state for the record that while all NAGA events are tough, this particular one showcased the highest level kids I’ve seen on the east coast, by far.
The level for the adults was good also. It’s nice to see these other east coast teams building their programs and getting better and better. Just a quick list of the teams I thought really stepped it up were:
Top Flight MMA
Renzo Gracie NYC
Better teams competing only helps make us and everyone competing against good teams better. What’s the saying again? “A high tide raises all boats”, yeah that’s sounds about right.
How did Ivey League MMA do at the NAGA?
I’m happy to say that for the most part, we ended up with good results. We did take some losses, but being that this was the first tournament of the season I’m overall happy with what I saw, especially if you take into account Ivey League’s just a small school tucked away in Arnold MD.
So at the very least I got a chance to watch most of the matches and can now use that information to help steer the program in the right direction going into the fall and winter training months.
See below for a list of those who competed from Ivey League and how they did. First place champions are in BOLD:
Mouth Garlington – 1st
Gavin “Gmoney” Saumenig – 2nd
CJ Monger – 1st
Ed Hunt – 1st
Matt Hawkins – 1st
Joe “Huggy Bear” Huggins – 3rd
Jacob Miller – 1st
Jacob Rosenbloom – 1st
Scarface McKann – 3rd
Brody Gallant – 3rd
Mackenzie Epps – 1st
CC Fowler – 2nd
Logan Cates – 3rd
Bella Cates – 3rd
Fin Morano – 3rd
Leo Gray – 2nd
Darryelle McKann – 3rd
Isabella Peguero – 2nd
Danny Mahoney – 1st place
Due to time constraints, a hectic schedule and my two finger typing skills, I only had time to write a few stories that highlighted certain students who had outstanding performances. I wish I could write something for everyone cause my students are awesome.
Jacob “Juji” Miller
Longtime student and former Pan Kids Champion Jacob Miller was a beast at the NAGA. He won two matches against very challenging opponents from highly regarded Yamasaki Academy.
Jacob’s mat awareness and solid positioning was key in his first match, and it wasn’t an easy match, this kid was tough. At one point late in the match the kid got onto Jacob’s back and it wasn’t looking good for us.
This is where experience kicks in. Jacob stayed calm and slowly worked his way out from the back take, got back on top and scored the points needed to win the match and advance him into the finals.
His opponent in the finals was also well known for being a fierce competitor. I was thinking this was gonna be repeat of the first match, you know, another all-out rumble.
It didn’t go like that at all to my surprise. Jacob caught his opponent early in the match with my favorite technique, the cement mixer. Jacob nailed the cement mixer off a takedown transition and used that to step over into mount and seconds later, ended the match via belly-down guillotine choke.
That move and the way he pulled it off, SICK! I’ve gotta say this is the best Jacob’s looked in some time. I’m happy to see him back where he likes to be, at the top of the podium in 1st place.
Another kid in our program also named Jacob is Jacob Rosenbloom. Jacob literally just got into our BBC program a week ago and decided to give competing a try despite his lack of experience.
I knew this kid would do well. I’d seen him working hard in the training room and just from the few times I’d talked with him I could tell he had the right kind of attitude for success.
That winning attitude snagged Jacob top honors in both gi and nogi divisions. Not bad at all considering this was his first competition.
His matches were won using strong fundamental skills and controlling the pace. He showed composure fair beyond the level he’s at. Keep an eye on this kid, trust me if he sticks with us and follows the system, he’s going to be a hammer in the very near future.
Young Mackenzie, or as I like to call her, Mac and Cheese, had a very good day as well. Just like Jacob Rosenbloom, Mackenzie’s new to the BJJ/Grappling Tournament world, what she lacks in experience she more then makes up for with a good attitude and a solid work ethic in the practice room.
She was very coachible in her matches and did exactly what Miss Chrissy said. She ended up placing 1st in nogi and 2nd with the gi. For a kid with only limited training under her belt that’s pretty impressive. Give this goofy little girl some time and she’ll be a real force on the kids grappling circuit.
It wasn’t just the kids who did well at the NAGA. Our adult students made a few waves of their own and my main man BIG Ed Hunt was all business on the mats.
Everyone’s been waiting for Ed to start competing for a while now, so I was pretty excited he made the drive to Broomall.
Ed didn’t disappoint. He placed first in his nogi division and did so using a wide variety of techniques that when combined with his athleticism and explosiveness, made him extremely difficult for his opponents to handle.
Hopefully this is the first of many more grappling tournaments (maybe even MMA) for Ed Hunt. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Overall Ivy League had a good showing. Big high five to new head of the kids program, Miss Chrissy Smith as she did a wonderful job coaching the kids. Also big thanks for Master Donnie Achnick for his help coaching both kids and adults.
Next up is the NAGA NJ on November 19th and on the same day we’ve got Joe Huggins, Matt Hawkins and Danny Mahoney all fighting MMA in Delaware. Be sure to check back to this blog for results.
For the most up to date news and results your best bet would be our FaceBook page. Click here to check out the official Ivey League FaceBook Page. Just click “Like” and you’ll be good to go 🙂