We had a superb weekend at the London International Open (GI) and the European No Gi Championships, laid on by the IBJJF in Crystal Palace, London.
The new ranked rash guard was in full effect and spotted numerous times through the day and across all divisions.
Best of all we were able to meet Scramblers old and new and watch the Scramble team in action.
Without further ado:
Oli’s black belt competition life consists of being thrown at the wolves again and again. Wait, scratch that. He throws himself at the wolves. Black belt? C’mon! It’s crazy. We’ve known him since he was a purple belt and now here he is fighting people called Bernardo and Souza and who have had black belts longer than he has been training. (In some cases.) We watched Oli fight over the weekend and he did superbly, holding his own against some world class competitors. The smile never lost his face (except when he had to cut a few hundred grams in a few minutes) and he always had a hello for everyone who stopped to shake his hand. It would often take him 20 minutes to move 5 metres due to the sheer amount of greetings he had to dish out. Oli took home three bronzes over the weekend.
Adam travelled all the way down from just outside Manchester to fight in his first ever no-gi event. Like an absolute boss he calmly took care of business and went home the brown belt European champion. Top work, Adam! Check out his gym Factory BJJ if you’re in the area.
The “She Beast” had some amazing fights on Sunday in the no gi, after having travelled all night on an overnight coach with little to no sleep. She lost a narrow fight on advantages in the final of her weight, and then beast-moded a couple of people to get to the final of the open weight. I was exhausted just watching so I have no idea how she managed to do it. She also did it all in style, wearing the Meerkatsu x Scramble special edition ranked rash guard – oh, and she went #fullspats. Read all about her two silver medals on her blog.
Aside from having an epic Italian name, Simone is friend and training partner of Andrea Verdemare, one of our long time Scramblers. Both are black belts fighting out of Cyclone jiu jitsu in Italy. Simone is a very talented black belt and took home third place in the featherweight division. There was a little bit of strangeness in one of his fights, where his opponent carried on cranking a foot after the referee said stop, injuring him, and then attacked the foot again on the restart. But still, it’s all experience and he took third place. Andrea, Simone and the Cyclone team were very friendly and I look forward to meeting them again next time.
We’ve been in touch with Jordan for a while so it was great to finally meet him. He just got back from training at the Mendes brothers academy in the USA, and it showed. Jordan was berimboling his way around the mat, but he also had a fierce determination that showed through, scrambling for takedowns in the dying seconds of one of his matches. We’re happy to have Jordan representing Scramble. He took silver in purple light feather on both days.
Lena is one of our best customers, located deep in Mother Russia. It was great to be able to meet her in person. She’s super humble and nice off the mat, and a super-beast on the mat, which is absolutely our favourite kind of person. She won her division and got third in open weight.
Last but definitely not least is the great Miha Perhavec, who travelled all the way from Slovenia to fight. Miha is a blue belt who trains under a purple belt and fights whenever he can. I was struck by his amazing English, and really admired his character. He obviously trains hard and is very serious about competing. It was a pleasure to watch him fight all day, usually against bigger and stronger opponents. By the end of the open weight fights he had a small cheering section in the crowd who cheered him on as he scored points on larger fighters. Miha took home two bronzes and did himself and his instructor proud. I’m looking forward to seeing him wear Scramble and have more tough fights.