Jiu Jitsu at Disneyworld! It sounds utopic but Kasai made it a reality. In the land of Mickey Mouse, the resort was filled with martial artists of all kinds – It was the International Sports Karate Association yearly US Open, labeled the “The largest open martial arts tournament in the world!”.
Just walking to the event was a different proposition all together… You go past a bridge, which broadcasts the best of Spanglish muzak, enter the Resort’s pavilion where a multitude of kids, all sizes, dressed is all sorts of different colorful gis taggin along with the parents and coaches. The signs on the hallway read: “Do not practice on the hallways, due to safety concerns”. You peek into a room and there’s a kid throwing a sword up in the air, gyrating his body and picking up with the sword on his other hand. A sword lands on another, he pops it around then bounces it right back up in the air and picks it up with the hand on his back. In another room they are running seminars for all sorts of different weapons – Nunchakus, Tonfas, Bo sticks, Kamas – all glittery and seemingly for demonstrations purposes only.
Kasai had a whole pavilion ready to go. No glittery weapons but there was a beautiful Jiu Jitsu mat surrounded by colorful lights and one of the best cards in Pro Jiu Jitsu so far this year!
And the card didn’t disappoint! What a finish to a great night. This is how it ended (spoiler alert!): Canuto and Leon were in a mad scramble the whole match. With 10 seconds to go the score was 5×4 for Canuto who also had one penalty. Leon attempts to take the back. Canuto, who’s been great at avoiding most attempts fights hard and avoids it. 5 seconds are left now, and Leon goes around, takes Canuto’s legs and performs what looks to be a takedown. Leon gets 2 points and the match is called to an end. Leon breaks into wild celebration. Canuto and his camp protest. The whole crowd goes insane! Luckily there was video of it – The 3 match referees gather together at Flograppling’s booth and spend what seems to be a long 10 minute gasp. There’s a crazy energy in the air. Some of the video makes it to the big screen to the oohs and aaahs of the crowd. So, here are the possibilities: 1. It was a takedown and the call was right – Dante gets 2 points wins the match. 2. It was a takedown, but the time to stabilize it was not there – Dante gets one point for the attempt and wins the match by the one penalty point. What ends up happening is that it was not really a takedown as Renato defended it by pulling guard. Referees back on stage, 2 points are removed and Renato takes the win. The public definitely got their money’s worth on this match alone. But there had been more! The co main even between two OG Jiu Jitsu Root’s guys was a sure battle showcasing the best of what is Jiu Jitsu tradition. Vagner Rocha and Celsinho Venicius traded non-stop, all over the mat, with little care for its limits – a few times being grabbed by yours truly and the other folks around the mat. It was only half way through the match that Celsinho was able to secure 2 points for a takedown. And it was almost by the end when Vagner was able to take the back and get his 4. It was sure a great introduction to Grappling to all those folks with the glittery weaponry.
In sum, none of the matches were skippable. Including a very exciting undercard. This was an event not to be missed.
Kasai also announced their next Super Series tour cities – Atlantic City, NJ and São Paulo, Brazil. Back to NYC for Kasai Pro 6 at the end of the year.
Here are the full results:
Renato Canuto def. Dante Leon via Points via Points (5×4)
Vagner Rocha def. Celso Venicius via Points (4×2)
Craig Jones def. Tex Johnson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Talita Alencar def. Sofia Amarante via Submission (Armbar)
Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante def. Jorge ‘Macaco’ via Submission (Arm-in Guillotine)
Mansher Khera def. Enrico Cocco via Submission (Inside Heel Hook)
Richie Martinez def. Gleison ‘Tibau’ via Points (0 x -1)
Matheus Lutes def. Valdir Araújo via Points (6×3)
Tony Way def. John Lineker via Submission (Inside Heel Hook)
Maggie Grindatti def. Bridget Grace via Points (5×0)
Fabin Rosa def. Ricky Nelson via Points (8×0)
KASAI PRO 6 135LBS TOURNAMENT TRIALS
Richard Alarcon def. Junny Ocasio via Points (2×0 Golden Score)
Junny Ocasio def. David Weintraub via Submission (Inside Heel Hook)
Richard Alarcon def. Spencer Mumme via Points (8×1)
Dan Martinez def. Chase Owen via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Thiago Domingues def. Josh Souder via Points (13×0)
Kevin Gallagher def. Aaron Conway via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
John Ortolani def. Julian Synan via Points (11×2)
Quentin Rosenzweig def. Andre Porfirio via Submission (Inside Heel Hook)
Phil Rowe def. Jose Velez via Submission (Arm-in Choke)
Igor Feliz def. Dylan Whyte via Submission (Bow and Arrow Choke)
Maria Llaguno def. Tiffani Friedman via Points (pts)
Mike Perry def. Gabriel Napolitano via Points (4×2)
Geraldo Gomes def. J. Uffelman via Points (31×0)
Lucas Napolitano def. Jay Enoch via Points (9×4)
Elias Ramirez def. Mikey Conlon via Submission (Triangle Choke)