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Pictures from the DEBRIZAL JIU-JITSU ACADEMY

TUCSON, AZ

(Please scroll down to see the entire page.)

 

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Rickson Gracie (pronounced Hixon) (standing center with Stevie Brito-left and Nick Richardson-right) is considered to be the greatest Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts champion ever. He is reputed to have won over 400 fights. Picture taken 3/27/09 at the 2009 Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Competition.

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Adult Blue Belt Division waiting to to wrestle.

 

Rey Diogo (pronounced Hey)

While we were over in California, we visited our parent school owned by Rey Diogo. Ray is a Carlson Gracie Black Belt, and without a doubt, this is one of the bad boys of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I am not just talking about some living legend of the past. He actually competed in this Pan American, and completely tore through his competitors. Below are a few of his accomplishments.

 

USA

  • 2009 Pan-American Champion Senior II -Heavyweight Division
  • 2005 Pan-American Champion Heavyweight Division
  • 2005 Pan-American Champion Open Division
  • 1996 Chicago Challenge II - Heavyweight Champion
  • 1996 State of Illinois Submission Championship - Middleweight Champion

Brasil

  • 1994 Brazilian National Championship II - Middle/Heavyweight and
    Open Weight (Absolute) Champion
  • 1993 Brazilian National Championship I - Middle/Heavyweight and
    Open Weight (Absolute) Champion
  • Rollys Gracie Tournament - Middleweight Champion
  • Nastra Tournament - Middleweight and Open Weight (Absolute) Champion
  • Iate Clube Jardim Guanabara - Middleweight Champion
  • Rio Sport Center Tournament - Middleweight and Open Weight (Absolute) Champion
  • Rauf Tournament - Open Weight (Absolute) Champion
  • Napoleao Veloso Tournament - Middleweight Champion
  • Carlos Rollyson Tournament - Middle/Heavyweight and Open Weight (Absolute) Champion
  • Hotel Nacional Tournament - Middle/Heavyweight Champion - Challenge Fight

Adult Blue Belt Division waiting to to wrestle.

Adult Blue Belts waiting for their matches.

Although you can't see them all in this picture, there were approximately 250 compeitiors in the combined Adult Blue Belt weight classes. We got there at 5:30 and the adult blue belts divisions did not finish up until 10:30 that night.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my son Nick for his 3st place finish in the Adult Gi Middle Heavy (194.5 lbs.) division of the Arizona Grappling Challenge and 1st place in the 194 pound Blue Belt division of the Arizona Open Jiu-Jitsu tournament.in Phoenix, Arizona.  Nick started Jiu-Jitsu when he was 13 and was promoted to Blue Belt on his 16th birthday which is the earliest one can achieve this rank.  This in itself is a pretty rare achievement in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He will be promoted to purple belt immediately following the Brizilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan Am Tournament over in California!

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Nick Jiu-Jitsu Award

 

 

Nick took six months off from the Jiu-Jitsu to wrestle in the 215 lb. division during his senior year of high school. He went 22-4, but in the months after the season weighed 235 pounds.  A year later, he joined the Pima Junior College wrestling team with the intention of wrestling at the vacant heavyweight division. However, after an injury to one teamate and the academic ineligability of another he was asked by his coach to drop approximately 50 pounds over a 4 month period in order to wrestle at the 197 lb. and later the 184 lb. weight class.  While I knew that losing the weight would clearly benefit him in the long run, I personally never thought he could do it in such a short time, so I was very concerned that he would not make the weight and potentially miss the wrestling season.  To Nick’s credit he laid out a weight loss plan and stuck to it every step of the way. 

When Nick achieved his goal of 184 lbs., approximately four months later, he had also lost some muscle as well.  Along with the fact that he only had one year of wrestling competition in high school, he was a bit behind most of the season.  However, let me say that wrestling at the collegiate level was truly an outstanding experience for him.  Between three-hour-a-day workouts and three-mile runs at 5:00 a.m. every morning, to cutting 5 pounds of water weight in 2 hours, Nick learned the value of hard work, and he has done a great job of keeping in shaper every since. He still runs three to four miles on non-training days. Unfortunately, the college wrestling program was put on hiatus prior to his sophmore wrestling season, so Nick returned to Jiu-Jitsu where he now trains five to six days a week under Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and Tucson Police Officer, Martin Escobar, at the nearly 200 member De Brazil Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Tucson, Arizona

Jiu-Jitsu uses five colored belts, white, blue, purple, brown and black to signify achievements.  It generally takes 12 to 15 years to obtain the ranking of black belt.  Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport, and participants are expected to train with anyone at any weight and there always some pretty big guys on hand. For instance, Nick regularly wrestles with a former NFL lineman for the Buffalo Bills, and he is not even the biggest person in the class.  Avoiding injuries depends a lot on having the right type of build, developing technique, and only using strength when necessary.  When someone is beating on you day after day, it is hard to learn to keep your strength in check, but ultimately it is pretty important to remaining in the sport long term. It is very rare for the often-injured participants to ever make it to the middle rank of purple belt.

 

Barless Silver Hen youngster from Queen of Spades

 

Nick has been wrestling with adults since he was 13 years of age, and given that he couldn’t compete with them through strength, he was forced to learn technique and defense, which again have helped him avoid injury and thereby train more often during the week.  Nick is expected to be a purple belt within the next couple of months, and anyone in the sport will tell you that this is pretty heady stuff for an 18 year old, especially when you consider that every other purple belt at the school is in his late 20’s or older.

Nick deserves a great deal of credit for what he has achieved in the sport!

Congratulations Nick!

 

Nick is fourth from the right end in this lineup. Unfortunately, I picked a day when the class was small, and the teacher was unable to attend.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

 

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

 

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Example of a back choke that doesn't quite work because he couldn't get any

leverage with the opponent's hand in the way.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Same back choke, different approach. Guy being choked is attempting

to block by pulling on the elbow.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

 

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Working to pass the instructor's guard.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Looking for an ankle lock as instructor rolls out from the bottom.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

My son Nick trying to pass the guard of one of the instructors.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Nick with another student in a Triangle.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Example of a back choke. This guy is almost out!

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Instructor setting a back choke.

Dun youngster from Queen of Spades

Student about to tap out in a back choke.

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