Team Absolute was represented by five members on November 14th, at UVU, for the Champion Submission Challenge, which is a submission-only grappling tournament. This tournament had no time limit, and there were no points. Competitors had the option of gi or no-gi, and some of our Team chose to compete in both divisions. We had a very strong showing with all five of our participants.
Vanessa The Scientist transformed into Vanessa The Destroyer, and swept first in both gi and no-gi events for women! She put up an amazing fight throughout, but the final match was one of epic proportions; when I say proportions, I mean that literally. The wonderful woman that she fought has the largest breasts that I have ever seen! It was like she had three opponents at once, but that did not deter Vanessa, and her athletic ability really showed. Aside from her amazing talent, she was rocking a pink Atama gi, it was enough to make me swoon.
Bret Gold had some very long matches in his weight division for the men's gi portion. There was one match in particular when he was clearly exhausted, but he muscled through, and ended up taking third place. Denver Merrifield-Nirva signed up for both gi and no-gi divisions, and placed 2nd in no-gi. His last opponent put up one hell of a fight, but after winning the match against "Dirty Denver" he ended up passing out. That's right, he passed out AFTER the fight. He may have caught Denver in a submission, but Denver will haunt his dreams for quite some time! Braeden Kilpack (aka: my awesome little bro) took second place in the Junior's gi division, and fought hard in the Junior's no-gi. One of Braeden's matches (which resulted in a loss for him) lasted for over thirty minutes, and Braeden was dominant for the entire match! His heart really showed, and I'm very proud of him. Nate Epperson came out for his first tournament, and had more mat time than most of our team, combined. He fought tooth and nail in the gi division, and ended up taking second place!
El Capitain, AKA Ben Garner entered in the Men's Title-Middleweight Gi division and the Absolute Title Gi division. It came as no surprise that he dominated every person in both, and he walked away with first place titles. The fight for first place in the Absolute division was a battle to the end, and Ben managed to arm lock a fourth-degree purple belt from one of our sister gyms. Ben is a second-degree blue belt, but he regularly submits men that "outrank" him. Aside from devastating every opponent he faced, Ben helped everyone prepare for the tournament, and his help was priceless. Without his attention to detail in the gym, no one would have been as prepared as they were, and he really was the foundation for our team at this event. With that said, of course, we ultimately couldn't do any of this without Rob, and his vast knowledge and unending support.
I was very thankful to be a part of the tournament, even if it was only from the sidelines. Everyone kicked some serious ass.