Gracie Barra’s students can kick

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Give it up for Gracie Barra Dana Point who competed, dominated, and won the “Gracie Barra Soccer Cup Challenge” last weekend in San Clemente. Flavio Almeida, owner of GB San Clemente, originally created the Soccer Cup Challenge for his own students, but word got out about his last two soccer tournaments and so, this time, three GB schools showed up to compete and have some fun.

GBSC vs. GBDP

GB San Clemente, GB Dana Point, and GB Huntington Beach were all in attendance as the day began. Each school played to see who was the best in soccer. In addition to the local Jiu-Jitsu students, there were many Brazilians Jiu-Jitsu players on the field, clearly reveling in the fact that they were taking part in a soccer match. They took their matches a little more seriously than the others and tried to show off their skills. Many said they really missed playing soccer the way they used to back in Brazil.

GBSC, GBDP, GBHB Group shot

There was a lot of talking on the field and off, with Felipe Guedes, of GB Dana Point refereeing at times and playing at others. He was either blowing his whistle, trying to keep control of the game, and giving yellow cards to those who jokingly tackled other players or he was teasing the other players about being behind and yelling, “You’re not losing; you’re learning!” The lessons of Jiu-Jitsu applying on the mats and off! As you can see, it was not only a competitive game of soccer, but a lot of fun, too, with laughter and camaraderie all around.

GB Dana Point beat both GB San Clemente and GB Huntington Beach to take the Soccer Cup, although to be fair, by the end of the day, it was more like a “pick up” game, with players from all schools playing on all the different teams, so it was a little difficult to tell who really won.

As the players walked off the field after the final match, they were slapping each other on the backs asking when the next tournament would be and committing that they would be back for a rematch.

End of the match kicks between GBDP and GBHB

In addition to the adult games, there were multiple kids’ games that were held. They had a great time trying to kick the ball into the goal, all the kids on the field advancing on the ball at the same time with no real organization or direction, just feet flying trying to kick the ball into the net. At one point, the kids tackled one of the coaches on the field and started a dog pile and that pretty much summed up the day. It was a free-for-all…

A dinner was held after the tournament for everyone to get together and talk and laugh about their experiences of the day. Because of the popularity of this event, Almeida says he’s going to put the word out to all Gracie Barra schools in the future and try to make it a bigger, more competitive tournament. If that’s the case, Felipe Guedes better get a bigger and louder whistle.

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