Team Link BJJ Does It Again
The best BJJ schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York showed up to the Hartford Convention Center this weekend with their top fighters to compete against each other in order to determine who is the #1 submission grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team in New England. Many of the best grapplers in New England were in attendence to include Dan Simmler, Gabriel Gonzaga, Alexandre Vaca Moreno, Marco Alvan, Mattew Bessette, Fabiano Teles and Brian American. Instructors from the top BJJ and MMA teams such as Team Link, Underdog BJJ, Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Plus One Self Defense, Lion’s Den, CT MMA, and Kimura BJJ were seen coaching their students from early morning until the last match late in the evening, in hopes that their team would reign supreme and be crowned the Hartford BJJ Tournament Team Champions.
NAGA Tournament Divisions and Rules
Kipp Kollar, the founder of NAGA, has created the largest BJJ and Submission Wrestling tournament series in the World. The tournaments are well organized, prestigious, safe and feature the greatest grapplers and UFC fighters in the world. NAGA has divisions for kids, teens, women and men and are separated by weight class, age and sex. The tournaments are broken down into two main divsions, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the Gi or Kimono, and Submission Wrestling without the use of the gi. Submission Wrestling is not so much a martial art itself as it is an all encompassing term that includes the arts of Wrestling, No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, Judo and more. NAGA has their own rules for Submission Wrestling but for BJJ, they adhere to the rules set forth by the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.
Watching The Children Compete is The Best Part
The Hartford Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament started with the children competing against each other. One of the most impressive aspects of the competition is watching as these young athletes fight against each other while displaying seemingly advanced techniques as if they are second nature. Unlike the adults however, they seem to do so with smiles on their faces. It is clear these kids love their sport and are more excited to play this game than they are nervous about losing or getting hurt.
The Adults Came To Win
The adults followed and here was where we saw the real action. These fighters came to win and would not settle for anything less than victory for themselves, their teams and their instructors. Unlike the children, you could see the determination, desire for success, and passion in their eyes and body language as they squared off with their opponents in the center of the ring. Although everyone came with the desire win, there could only be one team that would earn the honor of being the NAGA Hartford BJJ Team Champions.
How To Win a Grappling Tournament
NAGA has a points system that awards competitors points for placing in the top 3 in their division. Higher points are awarded depending on what place you took as well as the level of competion in your division. For example, a competitor who is in the expert division will receive much more points for getting 1st place than a fighter who wins the novice or beginner division. Upon completion of the tournament, the NAGA staff spends weeks compiling, checking and verifying the data to determine which teams won the Children and Teen’s, Adults No Gi Grappling, and Adults Brazilian Jiu Jitsu divisions. Whichever BJJ team secured the most points in Adult No Gi and BJJ combined will receive the coveted title of Overall Team Champions.
Team Link Comes Out On Top for The 14th Consecutive Time
While during the tournament it was almost certain Team Link BJJ would be the victor since the announcements of the division winners over the loud speaker throughout the day were usually from Team Link, everyone would have to wait until NAGA released the official results. NAGA recently confirmed everyone’s expectations on their website. Not only did Team Link BJJ win the Championship Team title, but they also won every single division which is rarely ever accomplished.
Doubling the Score of the 2nd Place Team
What’s more is Team Link scored a total of 6350 points between the kids, teens and adults divisions, doubling the 2nd place team if compiling both the youth and adults together. If you were to only look at the Overall Championship which only includes the adults gi and no gi Jiu Jitsu divisions, Team Link BJJ scored more points than the 2nd and 3rd place teams combined. This is an incredible feat for Team Link BJJ considering the level of competition in the area. Connecticut and Massachusetts have some of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools and instructors in the World, and Team Link showed for the 13th time, that they are the best of the best.
Words From a Proud Coach
“Team Link BJJ’s success at the Hartford tournament is a result of the hard work our student’s put in each day. Our team has worked hard to develop our methods, strategies and techniques over the years. We started off as a small team in 2006 and we were able to quickly make a name for ourselves through competition. With Marco Alvan and Gabriel Gonzaga’s leadership, our students helped to build the brand Team Link and solidified our reputation as the top BJJ school in Connecticut, Massachusetts and all surrounding states. As a result, anyone who is serious about learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu knows that Team Link is their best option and those people have filled out schools over the years. We have the greatest fighters in our school and people know that they must have the toughest training partners in order to realize their full potential.”- Brian American, Hartford BJJ 2012 Expert Gi & No Gi Champion