The IBJJF held a award ceremony in Irvine this evening. The event paid homage to some of Jiu-Jitsu’s greatest names from the past and the present.
“I look at this room and I remember how we started doing tournaments in Brazil in the 90s. Twenty years later we are here and we can make a living off Jiu-Jitsu. I tell all of you to never stop dreaming. This today is the realization of the dream we had 20 years ago,” said Master Carlos Gracie Jr. opening the ceremony.
Grandmaster Carlson Gracie, Masters Romero Cavalcanti and Carlos Gracie Jr, and Jiu-Jitsu legend Rolls Gracie were inducted to the Hall of Fame for their contribution to the gentle art throughout the years.
“My goal has always been to contribute to then growth of Jiu-Jitsu and to make possible to all of us to make a living through the art we love,” said Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
“I learned a lot from Rolls and I always wanted to be a Jiu-Jitsu Professor. Sometimes I can’t believe we have gone so far,” said Master Romero Cavalcanti.
“Grandmaster Carlson Gracie was a special person indeed and he inspired all of us. He would be very happy to see his work being recognized,” said Professor Rodrigo Medeiros after receiving the award in behalf of the Grandmaster who passed away in 2006.
“Maybe you guys don’t understand why we say Rolls was ahead of his time. Rolls was a pioneer and a innovator. He was the guy who introduced the concept of having a Jiu-Jitsu game on the offensive and mixing elements of other sports,” said Master Carlos Gracie Jr. after receiving the award in behalf of Rolls Gracie, who passed away in 1982.
The evening also awarded the best teams and athletes of the 2015/2016 season.
Mackenzie Dern and Paulo Miyao got the $15,000 check for topping the adult black belt ranking. Click here to see who else were in the top ten both in the male and female divisions.
Alliance got two awards, as best team of the season and also the best team of the Jiu-Jitsu Grand Slam, which includes the Worlds, Pan, European and Brazilian Nationals.
“I want to thank all Alliance Professors out there for helping us to put up such a strong team. I would also like to thank all the teams that compete with us. I admire a lot of you guys as we all work for the growth of the art. I also like to say thanks for such clean and tough competition,” said Fabio Gurgel.
The complete standings for the best academies of the season was: Alliance 1st, Gracie Barra 2nd, Nova União 3rd, Checkmat 4th, Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu and Atos 5th, Impacto Japan 7th, GF Team 8th, Cicero Costha 9th, Gracie Humaita 10th.|
The night also reserved a moment for Beatriz Mesquita, Andre Galvão, Romulo Barral and Renato Cardoso to receive the medals they earned after doping violations by the original holders.
Bia got the 2013 open class gold medal, Galvão got the 2014 heavyweight gold medal, Barral got the 2014 medium-heavy gold medal.
Other than that, Master Julio Cesar Pereira, leader of GF Team, got the certificate for his 7th degree red and black belt.
Click here for the full coverage on Instagram.
Here’s a photo gallery with the best images of the evening.