Nervous and excited energy filled the Academy as the competitors and spectators began trickling in. For some, they have competed many times before while for others it was their first tournament. It was very cool to see all of the main Martial Arts Academies in Kelowna together, supporting the tournament and coming together for a great purpose – Jiu-Jitsu. So their athletes to gain experience, grow, learn, and have some fun.
The volunteers enjoyed their mornings coffee (or tea) and chatted as they were trained on their stations. At 9:45 sharp Jorden made his traditional before tournament announcement, setting the precedent of what would be an incredible day. He talked about how: ‘this is an In-House Tournament, it is meant to be safe, fun and a great experience for competitors, coaches and volunteers alike. There is no losing, you either win or you learn.” After this Jorden went on to explain the logistics of the software, schedule of the day, and housekeeping. Pacific Top Team was very proud to mimic the same set up from the biggest tournaments (from software to organization). Goal was to provide a very well run and organized tournament.
With this the kids divisions started. From displaying courage in stepping on the mats to wins and losses alike. Something that astounds not only the volunteers but spectators as well is the level of Jiu-Jitsu the kids display. It is incredible to see what these young minds are capable of with such a complex sport. They do it so fluently and well, almost like they were born doing it. This was the first tournament that Pacific Top Team ran kids gi and no gi divisions, along with a couple volunteers that were given the opportunity to referee.
Such a thank you to the coaches, parents, competitors and volunteers who made this happen. Working as team through obstacle and keeping the energy fun and high. After all, we were all there on our day off – might as well make the best of it!
The morning went by flawlessly.
As soon as the morning was finished the super fight took place between Justin and Filip. Two very gifted blackbelts. Both of them had intense calmness on their faces as they warmed up with focus and fire in their eyes. They are both an incredible example of what good sportsmanship looks like with phenomenal Jiu-Jitsu. When their match started you could hear a pin drop in the room. It was so quiet with the occasional shoutout from the coaches. Everyone was very excited about this match and they were not disappointed. The match and excitement around it created such an energy in the air, if you could see energy this is an event where you would. Justin unfortunately lost to an ankle lock as he attempted to control a guard pass. Naming Filip the champion for a second time in a row.
After the super fight the adult divisions took place. For many competitors it was their first time, testing their Jiu-Jitsu and having fun while doing it. Experiencing the nerves and excitement as they moved through their matches, win or loss taking mental notes to improve their performances next time.
After the divisions the Open was held. This is a very unique opportunity. All weights, all genders, all ages – for the chance to win and compete against Filip at the next tournament for the title.
Looking at such an incredible day that was so packed with so many emotions and experiences. Wins, losses, excitement, disappointment, challenges and victories. It was really the people that made the tournament so great, the people that met and the ones who were reunited and caught up. The athletes that bonded through competition and the coaches who met through those competitors. The volunteers who were able to play a significant role in the tournament and enjoy being the gears that made it happen as they sat in the centre of the energy.
After such a day as this, we really know that we couldn’t imagine spending today any other way.
Monday evening classes were full as the hungry competitors filed in to learn from their mistakes, to perfect the next step, and to be a better version of themselves for the next tournament. Living by ‘CANI’ (Constant And Never Ending Improvement).
We cannot wait for our next tournament in February!