The 2013 Pan kicked off this wednesday for a first time ever IBJJF 5-days event.
The action on the 12 mats began 4:00PM and went on non-stop until after 10PM.
The day was completely devoted to the white belt divisions, male and female, adult, master and seniors.
Among the hundreds of competitors, GracieMag brought some inspirational ones to light.
The story of Orin Yellowman, from Flagstaff, Arizona, is worth telling. He was born without most of his fingers, both on his feet and hands. Nevertheless, on August 2012, he decided to train Jiu-Jitsu. After some comings and goings, Orin decided to dedicate himself and has been training hard for the last two months. He is already a white belt three stripes.
Even so, just training was not a tuff enough challenge. So he decided to compete. The 2013 Pan was his first ever competition. As any other debutant, the result was not as important as living the experience. Everyday is more clear that Helio Gracie was right when he said that Jiu-Jitsu was not designed for the strong, tall, tuff guy, but for everybody else.
Or the story of Jeff Mata.
Mata lost his sight five years ago, due to a retina detachment. Today, the master middleweight white belt competed at the 2013 Pan. He had three fights and won two, one by submission. This was his first ever IBJJF competition and he left with one promise: “You gonna still see a lot of me”. No doubts about that.
Among women, the wife of a world champion caught our attention.
Margareth Abreu had one of the most noisy fans this wednesday. The white belt from Brazil is the wife of Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, black belt leader of GMA member team Fight Sports. In three fights with one submission, she won the adult middleweight division.
The triumph was even more special because after training Jiu-Jitsu for only six months, Margareth tore her ACL knee ligament and had to stay off the mats for a whole year. The comeback was merely one month ago. The victory was celebrated with a well deserved kiss, as the picture shows.
The complete results for the adult white belt you find at GracieMag’s Google+ page.
The coverage continues this Thursday.
Here is an exclusive photo gallery of Day 1 at the 2013 Pan.