The first weekend in June marks the time when the best BJJ competitors in the World descend on to the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach California for the IBJJF World Championships. Make no mistake, this is the highest level tournament an adult BJJ competitor can compete at. The list of competitors is always a “Who’s who” of top level athletes. Every match is a tough match and nothing is given away, everything is earned. We are blessed to have such a great team and training environment here, that we are always able to send multiple competitors to tournaments like these. Being the only team in the Madison Area (and one of the only in WI) who is able to train athletes to compete at such a high level, we are always expecting our athletes to perform well.
While not all of our athletes will make the podium each year, they always go out and fight their hardest, never giving an inch and using a superior mindset, coupled with tedious amount of hard training, to apply superior skill on the Mats. This year we were lucky to see the culmination of a great two year run by Maxine Knetter at Blue belt. Max has spent the past two years competing all over the Nation at Blue belt. She took Double Gold Medals at the New York Pro, Gold in Chicago Open in both the Fall and Spring, Double gold in Atlanta Open, Gold in San Antonio Open, and the list goes on. Max then fought at the IBJJF Pans, losing a hard fought match to the eventual Gold Medalist. Max would get her chance at redemption, having her second match at IBJJF Worlds be a rematch of that fight. Max had worked hard on fixing her mistakes from the Pans, and it paid off, securing a victory over a very tough Brazilian fighter with amazing talent. Max would end up making it to the Semi-finals of her Bracket and would end up with a bronze Medal in her division. No easy task at the World’s and we were very proud of her. But Max wasn’t done yet. Making the Podium in your division means you qualify for the Open class, which is the top competitors from ALL weight classes fighting in one division. The open class is where you truly test your BJJ against both the smaller, faster opponents and the bigger stronger ones. Everything has to be right to win each match, it is always a showcase of high level BJJ. Most of the Blue belts in these tournaments look better than many Black belts from your local non competition gyms. Their skills have been refined to truly apply their BJJ in real situations.
Well, Max got to work and immediately found her stride. Max made her way from opponent to opponent securing a victory at a time and again made it to the Semi-finals. It seems the Gold medal wasn’t meant to be and Max struggled with some spider Guard passing and ending up again Taking the Bronze medal in the Open class. But two Medals from World Championships is definitely amazing and we are so proud of her. It is worth noting that the woman who won Max’s weight class also won the open class, proving that Max’s division had THE toughest competitors at Female Blue belt in the World. The fact that Maxine could not only defeat Many of them, but bring home TWO Medals, proves how well the system is working. It is also worth noting that Max is 100% the result of putting hard work into the system we use. Max started out as a White belt with no experience and has followed the Alliance curriculum to a tee, embracing the details and learning great BJJ. Our system is simple and easy to use, meant for EVERYONE to learn BJJ. and as we can see, it is also capable of producing very high level competitors. So Max returned to Madison and proudly laid her Medals on the Front Desk for everyone to see. We will hang them in the Gym with Pride as we begin to prepare for the up coming events still to come this season. We still have many more competitions this year and many goals have been set by the competitors, so let’s keep up these great numbers we have had as well as the phenomenal attitude being put forth in training right now. It is really something special.
So we decided to surprise Maxine, not long after she returned from the World Championships, with a belt promotion. After her performance on BJJ’s on BJJ Highest stage and winning more tournaments this year than one could remember, it was definitely well deserved. She has managed to make the podium in every event and usually with the Gold Medal. While she was not able to take Gold at World Championships, she proved beyond a doubt, that she was one of the best blue belts in the World this past year. So at the end of a long night of training with the competition team, We called Max up front, recapped her history as a White and Blue belt, then promoted her to purple. We assured her that her technique was already on it’s way to being a great purple belt and that she would be back on top of the podium soon at her new rank. We are always so proud when ever any of our students wins a tournament, but more important is how the represent the Academy and Team as a whole. Max always thanks her coaches and her team mates (Every one of them) for helping her get as far as she has today. She is a great example of what any our students are capable of when they take advantage of everything our BJJ program has to offer. We look forward to watching Max take the next step in her journey. Max proved how ready she was, winning her first tournament at Purple belt only a week after this promotion. But you will have to read about that in our “Fuji Tournament Recap”, coming soon!!!