Grappling Games moves up to heavyweightOver a hundred competitors from 15 gyms as far away as Fargo, Duluth/Superior, Madison and Chicago converged on Hudson April 9 for the St. Croix Valley Grappling Games, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling tournament.
Over a hundred competitors from 15 gyms as far away as Fargo, Duluth/Superior, Madison and Chicago converged on Hudson April 9 for the St. Croix Valley Grappling Games, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling tournament hosted each spring and fall by Midwest Center for Movement in Hudson as a benefit to help fund their scholarship programs for disadvantaged and at-risk kids.
The St. Croix Valley Grappling Games is developing a reputation as “one of the best smaller competitions around,” according to Jon Grilz, one of the events referees. “Although,” he added, “I don’t know how much longer it could be considered ‘small.’”
On hand as this spring’s special guest referee was World Champion Rigan Machado Black Belt Chris McCune. McCune, along with referees Tim Mahedy and Grilz, kept the matches moving along with good humor and a focus on safety, solid technique and fighting spirit.
Despite the large number of participants, competition proceeded efficiently, with intensely fought matches on the mat, and an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship off the mat.
With nineteen divisions broken down by age, experience and weight class, plus absolute divisions for kids, teens and adults, everyone was guaranteed the opportunity for plenty of matches in this double-elimination tournament.
Some of the top performers from the Midwest Center for Movement team included Mike Miskowiak in the male adult blue belt 181-195 pound division. Miskowiak took first in the group while teammates Jason Mareness of Hudson and Evan Carothers of River Falls finished second and third, respectively.
Yael Grauer took first in the adult women’s division while Jake Varner finished third in the male adult blue belt over 200-pound class. In the adult white belt division, Chris Koehler finished third in the 166-180 pound class.
In the teen competition, competitors from Midwest Center for Movement took first in three of the four divisions. Sam Green won the 151-165 pound group while Jake Benoy won the 196-210 pound and Absolute classes.
In the kids competition, Sam Ellifson took second and Luke Mahedy placed third in the 50-70 pound weight class while Ryan Pease finished third in the 91-110 pound group.
Midwest Center for Movement won the team competition with a total of 37 points.