The next ten days are going to be good - each one better than the next.
My workload is ramping up as our annual competition - THE ASIA PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS - looms closer. Rigan Machado is winging his way out here from LA to be on hand for the comp and offer up some BJJ-training gems the day after. We love having Rigan here - it's always a fun week.
The competition is also a lot of fun. It's the only comp I run each year and is in-house only, for the members of our association - BJJ AUSTRALASIA. I have been asked many times to run either an open tournament, or a no-gi tournament - but for now, I have decided to leave those tasks to others. I enjoy this one because of the atmosphere of complete solidarity that pervades the whole thing. Competitors do their thing - but walk off the mat together and more often than not, head to the warm-up mat and share ideas on what unfolded during their match. No bad language - no unruly behaviour and no bad sportsmanship. It's like a huge BJJ annual Picnic!
The day after the comp is always the same routine - Rigan Machado conducts a seminar for white belts, followed by another for higher grades. Both are always hugely interesting and usually packed full of Rigan's latest thoughts on building a great BJJ game.
The same day also provides an opportunity for the various school-owners to get together and discuss better ways to improve their schools, and the service they offer to their students - last year, the school-owners meeting provided a huge swag of ideas that have flowed on to the students during the past 12 months. This year - bigger and better ideas are in the making.
My wife Melissa has done an amazing job running around and chasing up sponsorship. For the first time ever, we are offering some cash prize-money for the place-getters of the Black Belt division: $1000, $500 & $250 for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place respectively. Just a little bonus to help fund their travel and training - and show our appreciation for what they have achieved. GLOBE INTERNATIONAL is also providing shoes for every PLACE-GETTER IN THE COMPETITION!! And we have a truckload of other great sponsors, who together, are contributing to this years GATHERING, including:
JOLS MARTIAL ARTS SUPPLIES
Gotta run - lessons to teach - entry forms to collate - emails to answer.