After a little delay, we have finally had the time to get a write up for the Fuji tournament in Deforest, WI. What a stellar performance we had Adults and Kids alike. We are always proud of anyone who chooses to test themselves in the competition arena. While competitions is only a small part of what we do here and not the main focus of our program, we always like seeing our competitors be successful. this day would show us that we had a brand new crop of potential champions who took the mats for the first time in competition. They all looked prepared and the resulting Gold Medals were too numerous to count. We once again proved why we have the best BJJ program in the Madison area.
The day started with the Kid’s divisions and we got to work right away. We had 11 Kids compete at this tournament and everyone left with multiple medals. It was great to see these kid’s come together as a team to not only show case their skills, but to support one another in their competitions. Soon after the kids arrive at the venue, The more experienced immediately took a leadership role and began talking to the newer students about getting focused and talking to them about what to expect on the mats., They also lead the other Kids through warm ups and helped them with any last minute questions. It is always amazing to see our young talent take such great leadership roles.
The Kid’s got to work right away, taking their skills to the mat in phenomenal fashion. From Their wrestling and Judo to their Guard passing,m sweeps, and submission skills, no stone was left unturned. They dug deep into all of their training and unleashed some great Jiu-jitsu. One by one they began to rack up the gold medals, many of them having to face their team mates in the finals, which is never an easy thing to do. They showed great sportsmanship and whether they won or they learned, they smiled and performed their best. We are so proud of these young competitors and the example they set.
Next up was the Adults. Starting with the white belts, it was clear that we were going to continue having a stellar day of competition. The team showcased many of the techniques we have been working on in the academy, many finishing with submission victories on their way to the podium. Everyone who competed put in a lot of work in and out of the academy to be prepared. While not everyone can always be a champion, taking the time and effort to set forth a goal, push your self to your limits, test your self against other opponents, and learning how to both win and lose with humility are the reasons we love to compete. To say we were happy with the results would be an understatement. Between kids and adults we had close to forty competitors and not a one left the venue empty handed. There are more Medals than we can count, but inthe end, the memories of competing along side the team is always the best reward. We are so proud of everyone on the team, whether you compete, help other’s train to compete, provided a ride to the gym for someone, show up to train with a smile on your face every day, or just come out to support and cheer them on, you are all the reason we are the most successful BJJ team in the Madison area.
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!!!
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Back from yet another successful trip to the IBJJF Chicago Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Chicago Open is the toughest and most prestigious tournament the Midwest has to offer. Ran by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, the same organization that runs the World Championships and Pans, The Chicago Open attracts the highest level of competition. Where as many local tournaments are unorganized and usually have sparse competition, the Chicago Open is both well run and contains numerous athletes in each division. The athletes that attend of of the highest caliber, including many international level competitors and world champions.
We started the First day off very strong, and while we had a smaller number of competitors than usual, they all rose to the occasion and took Medals in their divisions. For some of these competitors, it was their very first time competing, yet they seemed well prepared as the training leading up to this tournament was good and they all had spent a lot of time in the gym preparing. Our competitors know that there is no replacement for mat time when it comes to being prepared for a tournament. Overall we finished the First day with a strong start, bringing back 2 Gold, 3 Silver, and two bronze Medals to hang up in the gym. For those who didn’t win, but instead learned, they came back to the gym with plenty to work on and most of them didn’t even take a day off and were back training Monday morning to fix their mistakes. We love and embrace that kind of dedication here, it is what champions are made of. Saturday night was about food and rest as we prepared for the Sunday Gi divisions as well as NOGI.
Sunday started off well, with some of our white belts competing in their first tournament. Chicago is definitely a very tough place to start your BJJ competition career, but our newest competitors handle it like champions. Many great fights were fought and we were impressed with not only the physical, but mental performance of our athletes. It was amazing to see them fight with no fear and truly showcase what skills they have developed so far. Many bright futures ahead of them and for us a great sign of things to come for our team. NOGI went equally well as everyone who competed in NOGI took a medal home, which was amazing. Congrats to everyone who competed.
Next up we have competitors heading to Atlanta and then San Diego, before their trip out to California for World Championships at the end of May. There will be no break in the training as we have a local tournament (FUJI) in Waunakee in June and them another Chicago Open in August only two weeks before the Master World Championships. With a long and tough tournament schedule ahead, we will need the team in to train as much as possible to help their team mates achieve their goals.
Well, We are back from yet another successful trip to on of the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation’s Biggest Tournaments, The Pan Jiu Jitsu Tournament. The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation or IBJJF is the official sanctioning body of BJJ and there for is responsible for operating the biggest and most prestigious Brazilian Jiu Jiu Jitsu tournaments in the world’s. The Pan Jiu Jitsu Tournament is known as one of the big four, along with the World Championships, The European Championships, and the Brazilian Nationals. These are widely consider the most prestigious tournaments in the art of BJJ. As a team, Alliance is the only team ever two win all four in a single year. A matter of fact, we have done that twice in the history of these tournaments. Pretty soon it will be the Big 5, as the Master World Championships has surpassed some of these others in terms of attendance and prestige.
From here at Twisted Fitness/Alliance of Madison, we sent only 5 athletes to compete this year. That said, we returned with Three Medals. Over all we had Two Golds and a Bronze. First off was White Belt, Jason Meehan. Jason definitely has a lot of ability and it showed at this tournament. Jason had several tough fights in his division and showed some great technique. While Jason won some of his matches on points, he also won two by submission, including an omoplata shoulder lock in his Finals match. Jason has proven to be one of the best white belts in the Nation, and soon we will get to see how he performs at Blue belt, I’m sure!
Next up was Edward Flick. Eddie, as we call him, had a huge division of more than 75 Lightweight blue belts. There was a very high talent level in this division and Eddie was right in the mix. Eddie ended up losing a close match to a phenomenal opponent by only two points. Then next round that same opponent lost a referee’s decision (definitely a controversial one) to the eventual winner of the division. After seeing how well Eddie performed, there was no doubt he was among some of the best in that division.
Maxine Knetter would be the next competitor of the weekend. Maxine went into the Pans ranked #1 in the US and #9 in the world at female blue belts among all weight classes. That alone is a great achievement. Unfortunately, Max lost a battle of a match with the eventual winner of the division. She fought well, but unfortunately a few slight mistakes cost her the match. Making the podium at Pans requires a near flawless tournament performance. Max is already focused on fixing her mistakes and getting ready for the world championships.
The Black belt divisions are fought over two days on both Saturday and Sunday. People making it to the semifinals on Saturday will then fight the semifinals and finals on Sunday. Both Instructors Mark and Sonya Plavcan decided to compete again this year. Sonya had fought last year, earning a silver medal, losing the finals match by two advantages. She was looking to redeem herself and earn a Gold. Mark had suffered a lower back disc injury just days before the Pans last year, and while registered, could not compete. So for Mark, it would be his first BJJ competition in over a year and just a chance to get back on the mat and get back on track. Both Mark and Sonya would end up making it to Sunday and fighting in the semifinals.
First up on Sunday was Sonya. Mark was able to coach her during her first match of the day, but was called to the bullpen immediately after her victory. Sonya would then move on to the Finals match, while Mark was off to warm up for the Semifinals. As luck would have it, Mark and Sonya ended up competing at the same exact time, which was captured on a screen shot by one of our students. It was kind of special to see both instructors competing at the highest level in BJJ at the same time. Unfortunately Mark would lose by one advantage in the semifinals, not without a fair amount of controversy by a bad restart by the referees, which is clearly visible on the replay. That said, Mark was happy to get back out and compete at such a great event and after a very trying year of injury, return back to Madison with a Medal from such a high level tournament. Mark got done with his semifinals match and could only wonder what happened with Sonya’s finals match. He has always been able to coach her, so obviously he was nervous. But, Sonya being the champion she is, pulled out a submission win in the finals against her Brazilian opponent. Sonya was up 5-0 with a take down and guard pass and then secured the bread slicer choke for her victory and first Pan Am Gold Medal! Mark was just bowing off the mat from his competition when he heard Sonya’s name announced over the loud speaker as the Champion. Upset about his own performance, this was definitely some uplifting news! Sonya is now both a World and Pan Am Champion, making her the most accomplished Black Belt in WI. We are all very proud her, as well as everyone else who competed. It was a great tournament for a small BJJ academy in Madison, WI to be able to showcase how world class their BJJ really is! Next up is Chicago Open and then only a month to Atlanta Open and then the World Championships. The competition season is off to a strong start!
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote for us this year in the “Best of Madison” poll. This is always a huge honor for us. We work very hard as a team and it is always nice to be rewarded for our hard work. We are always striving to remain Madison’s PREMIER Martial arts facility. Providing World Champion level instruction in both Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai Kickboxing takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. We are happy that people appreciate the effort we are putting forth and we will continue to do so. If you haven’t yet given us a try, contact us for our free week trial and come see why year after year we are voted Madison’s best!
Big Congratulations go out to our very own Maxine Knetter on being the top ranked female Blue belt in the US and Ranked number 9 in the World! The rankings, recently published by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation are based on performances in the top tournaments every year. Maxine has reached the podium at every tournament she competed in this year, including many Gold medals in both her weigh class and the open class. But she isn’t done yet! Maxine has set her sights on the biggest tournaments in the world again this year, looking to conquer both the Pan Ams and the World Championships, as well as a few others.
As always, we have to make sure that everyone understands this was also a big achievement for the team. Nobody can do this by themselves. The fact that Maxine is constant thanking both her coaches and team mates, reminds everyone exactly how important it is to have a good team behind you. We all work very hard together to help everyone achieve their goals and this is just one more example of how great technique curriculum, great training partners, and great coaches/leaders in the gym can create champions.
The hard work we all put in and the focus on the best details and cutting edge techniques continue to put us a step ahead! We are looking forward to more from Maxine as well as all the other strong competitors we have looking to make a name for themselves this year.
Next up is the IBJJF Pans, only a few short weeks away. We have several competitors, including Maxine, who will be attending this tournament. Chicago Open is only few weeks later, then on to Atlanta Open in May before we journey to Long Beach for the IBJJF World Championships, the most prestigious event in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Nothing but hard work and (and hopefully some glory) ahead!
Even though there was a snow day in the City of Madison Yesterday, that didn’t stop many of our kids from coming to BJJ class and testing for their belt promotions. Promotions don’t come easily here at Twisted Fitness and these kid’s have spent lots of time preparing for these tests. Many hours were spent drilling the techniques to make sure they were ready to perform at the highest level when asked to demo for the coaches.
The kid’s were asked to demonstrate a variety of techniques from Passing the Guard, Self Defense, Sweeps from the Guard, Escapes from all the positions, as well as Take downs/Throws. It was great to see how much these kid’s have learned. For many of these kids it was their first belt test. As nervous as they may have been, they were very focused and everyone looked like they had been training for years.
Now, for the kids who have moved up a rank, there comes even more responsibility. Many of them will be asked to take leadership roles in the classes to help them develop other skills that are useful on the mats as well as off them. These responsibilities will help the kids advance even further in both the gym and their daily lives. Seeing this progression also gives the newer students something to shoot for. Next up for many of these kids will be competition training, since the competition season is upon us. The kids already started sharpening up their submission skills today as we began the first day of the newest part of their journey. We are looking forward to what these kids achieve next.
After the test, the kid’s were called up one at a time to be awarded their new belts. Many kids were also awarded stripes, which signify that they are moving closer to their next belt test as well. Each of the students is congratulated by each coach after their achievement. The students walk through the line and shake the hands of each coach and receive their praise. Afterwards we always say a few words about what it means to be promoted. We tell the students that promotions comes more responsibility. It also brings more hard work. We can never rest on what we have achieved, we need to look forward to what we will achieve next and work even harder to get there. We will still fall down, we will still lose and get tapped out in training, but we will be better every day because of it. It is great to see the kids absorb this knowledge and you can tell the truly understand what it will take to be even greater tomorrow than they were today. The sky is the limit.
Congrats to Zamy, Sevi, Andrew, Nate, and Owen on earning their Gray and White belts. This is the first step in a very long journey and you guys are off on the right path.
And special congrats to Rogue for earning his Yellow and White belt. Rogue has been with us for quite a long time now and has become a great leader to the younger students. He has accomplished several gold Medals at tournaments as well as grasped some advanced concepts for both throwing and grappling techniques. We are happy to see him take one more step forward!
This past weekend at Twisted Fitness in Madison, WI we held our second seminar in our competition technique series. We had a full academy and there was just enough room for everyone to work. This seminar focused on the Passing of 1/2 guard to the 3/4 mount and then continuing attacks to take the mount or back position. The focus was on complete domination of position and high point scores for competition BJJ. We started the seminar off where we left off in the last one, passing to the mount position from 3/4 mount. From there, we worked several different ideas on how to complete the pass to mount, which would net 7 points in a tournament situation. Each situation was dictated by the opponents reaction to the initial pass attempt. This gave the students several options to explore when passing from this position, all of which are very easy to apply and very dominating.
Next was the idea of forcing the opponent to expose his back from the 3/4 mount and we began to tighten up the seat belt position with everyone. Once the seat belt was applied, the back maintenance drill was all that was needed to secure the hooks and the points. This was definitely some technical details for all the competitors. By the end, everyone felt more comfortable with the 3/4 passing and the back attacks from 1/2 and/or 3/4. To top it off, we added in a choke attack when these options fail to work as well as a pass to cross body, which was the consolation prize for not being able to pass to the mount or back position. Once all the pieces were in place, all the students were immediately more comfortable attacking from these positions. We ended the seminar with some competition team training, trying to work the techniques that were just taught. It took only minutes for some of the competitors to see a huge difference in their mindset and attacking ability from positions they were uncomfortable with only a few hours earlier. Thanks to everyone who attended. As the competition season gets underway in only a few short weeks, we will be adding in some more seminars to tighten up as much as we can before Pans and World Championships. Stay tuned!