Since the last time we wrote about “Olympic Style” Jiu-Jitsu (Grappling), the sport has taken off. Behind the scenes, Team USA Wrestling has been building the sport at an alarming pace. With big names in the jiu-jitsu community putting their weight behind the organization, the only way to go is up.
On April 27-29, Team USA will be holding their open gi and no-gi try-outs for a spot on the team. The event will take place at South Point Casino in Las Vegas. Alongside the grappling competition will be the Open Wrestling Championships. These championships include folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Grappling holds a very important spot within the jiu-jitsu community. It presents an opportunity for individuals to represent their country on the world stage; this year the world championship will be in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Grappling also provides a set of unified rules that eliminate many of the complaints that exist in most competitions today – advantages, stalling, double-guard-pull, just to name a few. On top of that, grappling has the weight and clout of United World Wrestling, the governing body of almost all wrestling sports in the world, behind it.
This year Team USA is providing even more opportunities for grapplers to get involved. Instead of just holding senior try-outs for the grappling team, they will also hold veteran and junior try-outs in Fresno, California, on June 2-4.
Also new this year, since our article on Josh Barnett losing out on a spot on the team due to poor officiating, Team USA Wrestling is expanding its mandatory training for referees of the sport.
All-in-all, the events for this year are looking to be the best yet. As the sport of grappling moves forward, it is clear that it is the future of sport jiu-jitsu outside of super-fights and invite-only events.
Staff Sergeant Aaron Johnson has spent over 30 years on a mat.Starting at the age of 4 and being the self-described "little guy", he struggled, but eventually earned a spot in 7th grade on the prestigious Team Foxcatcher.After winning nearly every match in high school, he moved on to the University of Indianapolis, and eventually became a world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His goals were still much higher though, he wanted to be on the USA Wrestling team. When he got injured a few years ago, he thought those dreams were over. Not even close.While serving with the Indiana National Guard, he went on to win the National Guard Combatives Tournament at US Army Fort Benning in 2011.Still unwilling to give up, Aaron went to the qualifying trials for the U.S. Grappling team in May of 2016 and beat the current Team USA member.He EARNED his spot with Team USA.He will be representing the United States at the 2016 Senior Grappling World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, Sept. 30-Oct. 3.This is his story.Music: Jens KiilstofteLicensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Video: Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Runser
Posted by Indiana Guardsman on Tuesday, August 30, 2016