Every year, the JJGF honors outstanding teams, events, and individuals who helped elevate the sport. The 2016 Jiu Jitsu Founders Award Winners are an impressive group with excellent credentials. They were selected by a respected panel of judges that included Kyra Gracie from Sensei Combate, Hywel Teague from Flo Grappling, Kitt Canaria from Jiu-Jitsu Times, Andre Borges from BJJ Heroes, Callum Medcraft from Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine, and many more.
In the team category, the kids prize went to ATOS while the masters nod was given to Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu. For the women, team Gracie Humaita got top honors. Team ATOS was also able to clinch the award for men in a close vote with Alliance, Gracie Barra, PSLPB and Checkmat being the other nominees.
In the event category, the best invitational no gi award went to EBI. Also nominated here were Five Grappling, Metamoris and Polaris. For the event invitational go award, Copa Podio got the top spot ahead of Polaris, Metamoris and Berkut. It was a landslide for the open no gi event with ADCC getting nearly all the votes. For the open gi events, the judges preferred the IBJJF — Worlds the most.
In the submissions category, the black belt no gi award went to Davi Ramos of Team ATOS for his impressive jump armbar of Lucas Lepri. The black belt go award was given to Bernardo Faria of Team ALLIANCE for his clock choke of Leandro Lo.
In the athlete category, there were several no gi practitioners who made a strong impression. Rubens Charles of ALLIANCE took home the masters award, Gary Tonon of RENZO GRACIE got the men’s award, and Makenzie Dern of GRACIE HUMAITA go the women’s award. As for the gi practitioners, Wellington Megaton of GRACIE HUMAITA got the master’s title, Makenzie Dern had a repeat for the women, and Bernardo Faria of ALLIANCE got the male gi award.