2016 Colorado Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament Wrap-Up

2016 Colorado Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament Wrap-Up

This past Saturday, the Dark Horse Denver team went to war for the annual Colorado Open BJJ tournament. This was probably the best run tournament we have seen here in Denver yet, with things generally running smoothly (with a few exceptions) and divisions getting started a bit early, as opposed to the usual lateness. Thanks much to Seth and his team at Fight to Win for a smooth tournament and a good experience that allows competitors to focus on their fights. 

Coach's Thoughts

First, my hat goes off to all of the first time competitors. Signing up for the tournament is a stressful thing - it requires you to take yourself much more seriously in terms of training, nutrition, and recovery. Putting yourself through the hard work of preparation is difficult and uncomfortable. Some of you needed to lose a little weight to get down to your proper weight class, and that is just about as much fun as it sounds. Finally, handling the nerves of the tournament itself, and stepping onto the mat with people cheering AGAINST you is perhaps the most stressful at all. I've done it many times myself and I'm always a little amazed when people commit themselves to it for the first time. Win or lose it matters not - the real victory is in stepping into the ring. I'm always reminded of a quote from a speech that Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President and avid boxer and jiu jitsu fighter, once gave:


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Extra special thanks and congratulations to our first time BJJ competitors: Dylan Herrin, Jess Scotella, Nate Altieri, Sam Crowe, and Jesse.

Secondly, I really want to thank all of the people that came out not to compete but simply to cheer for their teammates. BJJ is not the easiest spectator sport in the world. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon spent standing in an old arena that typically hosts rodeo events. Not the most fun thing you can do with your precious weekend. For anyone that made it out, I really appreciate it. More importantly, your teammates in the ring appreciate it. It is extremely helpful and energizing to hear someone cheer your name when you're on the mat, struggling to stay above water. It can actually give you the spark to push for victory, and in that way can make the difference between winning and losing. 

Thirdly, thanks to everyone that helped Professor and I coach all the matches. I appreciate you giving up your free time, staying at the tournament long after your matches were over, and running willy-nilly all over the arena to be in the right place at the right time. You can't win without coaching, and your teammates appreciate it. Thanks to Coach Brendan, Coach Hawaiian Paul, Coach Jesse, and Coach Adam.

Extra, special, fantastical super-thanks to Professor Charles, who was at the tournament at 830am to coach the child of an old student of his from several years back. He stayed until the very end and coached countless matches. He does not get paid for that - he does it because he loves it and he wants to see you guys and gals be successful. 

Fourth, thanks to everyone that put in extra work on the mat to help their teammates get ready. Whether it was coming in early or staying late to put in extra rounds, it is much appreciated. You can't learn jiu jitsu by yourself and you certainly can't get ready for a tournament without leaning on your teammates for a little extra time and effort. Thanks to all those folks - simply too many to list. 


I thought about listing out all the results that people had attained - how many matches they had won and lost, or what medals they won. But I think you'd better ask your teammates how it went, if you haven't already. Give them a chance to brag about their success and bemoan the difficulties they faced. They put in a ton of work for this and if experience is any indication, they'd simply love to tell you how it went. Ask these folks about it:

  • Ro Altamirano
  • Jessica Scotella
  • Dylan Herrin
  • Nate "Nizzy" Altieri
  • Taylor Termentozzi
  • Bryan "Poppa Noodles" McConnell
  • Stephan "BroTank" Swanson
  • Chris "Kid Kimura" Regas
  • Jesse
  • Sam Crowe
  • "Hawaiian" Paul Pruett
  • Adam Kesser
    (If I have forgotten anyone, I'm terribly sorry - please let me know and I'll fix it)

Finally, i just wanted to say to the team at large how very proud I and Professor Charles are of all of you and of the community we have built. This was the first time I got it together to have back patches and it was a special thrill to look across the mat and see people representing our team. All day people kept coming up to Alchemy fighters and asking where they trained at, and who they trained under, etc. Basically, it was a "wow, you guys are good, where did you come from". This included other athletes, their coaches, spectators.,  and even referees. People definitely got a chance to see what Alchemy is all about, and they were definitely impressed. You folks get all the credit for this - they were watching your performances, not mine or Prof. Charles'. I was even more impressed than they were. You all absolutely rocked it. 


And on to the next one, in November.......




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