In the spring of last year we launched the Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association. Founded with a belief in the greater good, that all of our members, whether world champions or brand new white belts are equally important, we started to build our future.
Two months ago I made a decision, instead of doing seminars or ADCC I would stay in San Jose to train with my team to prepare them for the events like the US open and prepare myself for events like the World Jiu Jitsu expo. It was a huge decision, I had to cancel a lot of seminars to make it happen and this was the first year I was invited to compete in the ADCC; a tournament I have always wanted to compete in.
This past weekend I was humbled to see that my sacrifices were little compared to those made by our team. The heart of our team, Manny Diaz, reffed all day, from 8am, and was completely exhausted. This didn’t stop him from competing in his weight and the absolute which finished at 9pm. Students like Marco Zulauf who usually competes as a master competed as adult to help us in the team standings. Our affiliates from Oregon, Union City, Hayward and Watsonville made the journey down to Santa Cruz to represent our association. Some of them competed and then made the 10 hour drive back to Portland right after because they had to work the next day! This was reminder that these aren’t guys that do Jiu Jitsu for a living, they are people who work full time jobs and have other responsibilities that are much greater than Jiu Jitsu. Yet they took time out of there life to make it this weekend happen.
The leadership of our team also made major sacrifices, Samir Chantre who usually competes at light feather or feather and who has not put on a gi in over a month, went up to heavy weight. After a very tough match he decided that he had more to give and competed in the absolute.
At the end of the day, when all 1300+ competitors were finished we were awarded the 1st place Adult team trophy. In a year I won every major tournament, this to me was easily the biggest win of the year. As a new association, not carried by one group or one person but as a whole , we struggled and preserved as a family, and I am proud to say we have finally arrived.