Once again sorry for being late to the party with this blog write up, my excuse: Summer Camp!
But whatever here we are so let’s talk about the tournament and how Team Ivey League did, individually and as a whole.
We ended up taking a team of 14 students up to Wildwood New Jersey to compete in the biggest grappling/BJJ tournament on the east coast. It’s called the “Battle at the Beach” (BATB).
The BATB is a solid tournament for sure and one that we haven’t missed since it started in 2000. Almost all high level teams make it a point to attend this event, including:
Toms River BJJ
Balance + tons of others…
With all these great competitors taking park in this event it’s not hard to see winning here puts you in the top of your skill division.
Below is a list of students who competed and how they placed. *1st place winners are in bold
Joe Coggiano – 1st Place
Darryan McKann – 1st Place
Magnus Benz – 1st Place
Wiki Avila – 1st Place
Dax Avila – 1st Place
Reston Abbot – 1st Place
CC Folwer – 1st Place
Eli Natale – 2st Place
AJ Hall – 4th Place
Jose Rodriguez – 3rd Place
Alex Peralta – 2nd Place
Teresa Ives – 2nd Place
Katniss Crino – 2nd Place
Alexia Lara – 2nd Place
Like I’ve said before, if time allowed I’d write something for each and every student that took part but sadly my time is very limited so I focused on those who really had outstanding performances.
Joe Coggiano…is awesome!
What Joe’s been able to accomplish in just 4 months of MMA classes is nothing short of outstanding. He added another 1st place gold medal to his growing collection with some hard fought and down to the wire matches at the BATB.
Joe used solid takedowns, defensive skills and newly added sweeps (a pretty sweet footlock sweep I must say) to win matches including a come from behind victory in the finals, winning 4-2.
On top of improved technical skills he also showed off much better cardio, thanks to S/C Coach Dave Miller’s classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Cardio he certainly put to good use during his matches, winning a few by simply outlasting his opponents till they gave in. Congrats to Joe, who continues to get better and better each time out.
Wild child Reston Abbot was wild (and successful) in Wildwood!
Anyone who knows Reston, or as I like to call him “Gator”, knows he’s a very wild, ultra crazy ball of constant energy. I doubt anyone will deny this.
But at the end of the day he’s also a sweet kid with a talent for competing. He does his best work when placed in front of a large crowd. The bigger the better.
More ofter then not, he wins. BATB would be no different for Reston.
His ultra fast pace combined with new skills learned during 3-a-day workout during summer camp proved to be too much for the other kids.
Reston cruised to 1st place with ease, submitting all but one opponent. And the kids he faced were GOOD, really good. This was also his first time in the advanced division, having skipped right over intermeitue.
The highlight for me was watching Reston hit a perfect head inside single leg then lifting his opponent up and over his head while at the same time turning him in midair and landing right into side-control.
It was super impressive to witness trust me. More is sure to come from my little homie Gator.
Dax Avila makes his comeback in style
One of the proudest moments of my 2015 was without a doubt watching my main man Dax “Juggernaut” Avila get back on the mats and do his thing.
This is the first time Dax has competed in about a year. Before the BATB, he took a break from competing.
He needed time to “grow” into the division and to that higher level. Dax was placing 2nd and 3rd over and over again in local tournaments. It’s hard for a kid to go from winning left and right to not winning at all or very little.
I’ve seen this happen many times during my career. It’s hard to watch but at the same time it’s something all kids have to go through sooner or later.
So he took a break and took time to build his skill set and that time off really seemed to make the different as he came back at the BATB looking like a whole new kid.
His thing of course is placing at the top of his division. He did that by using solid takedown skills combined with top pressure from both side-control and mount.
Just like Reston, Dax’s matches weren’t even close.
Magnus hammers his way to the top once again!
Magnus, ah yes 13 year old Magnus, wow. Wow is the only way to describe his matches. Well that and Fast paced, exciting, intense, smooth, all that good stuff.
Magnus is just one of those kids that was born to compete. He loves being out on the mats in front of large crowds, battling other kids not just for a gold medal but also just for the battle.
It’s funny because a year ago this young man from Edgewater wanted nothing to do with competing. However, his teammates Mouth and Juji convinced him to give it a try and it’s been all gravy since.
He defeated 3 top ranked kids in the United States, kids that are well known butt-kickers. Magnus was game and it showed.
His match in the finals of the gi division was a nail biter that’s for sure. Magnus was tied 4-4 but down on advantage points which could and would decide the outcome of the match.
With literally 10 seconds left he hits a beautiful hip switch to pass the guard and win the match 7-4. I was lucky to have witnessed this and I know others felt the same.
Where does Magnus go from here? Well aside from NAGA’s his #1 goal in the world is to win the gold medal at the 2016 Pan Kids Tournament, help in Los Angeles in February.
At this rate I can’t see anything stopping him on his quest. Stay tuned.
Again, I’d like to write something about everyone but sadly my time is super limited due to long hours working summer camp.
Please know that everyone did awesome and without great students like you guys Ivey League wouldn’t be anything close to what it is.
Next up is the NAGA Pennsylvania on October 10th. You better believe we’ll be there!