March 28, 2015, Niagara Falls ON, The fourth annual Niagara Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open was a huge success. After being held at Niagara College in Welland for two of its first three years and once at Brock University, the Open made it to the Scotia Centre in Niagara Falls for it fourth installment.
This year saw the tournament swell to over 600 competitors from over 60 clubs from as far away as Montreal, Thunderbay and Detroit. "The tournament has grown significantly over the past four years and we are really happy with how excited the Jiu-Jitsu community has gotten for this event," said tournament organizer and co-owner of Modern Vision MMA Blayn Bonfoco. Local schools represented well including the tournament host club Modern Vision MMA (Welland and Niagara Falls), Muay Thai Niagara MMA (St. Catharines), Evolve MMA (St. Catharines) and Brasa Niagara (Niagara Falls).
All Niagara schools represented well and saw the host schools, Modern Vision MMA's, Team Ascension dominate the medal podium earning over 450 team points ahead of second place Body of Four of Toronto which amassed 275 points. "We are very happy to see so many teams come down and support the event but as gracious hosts we like to keep as many gold medals as possible for ourselves," joked Team Ascension Niagara's Head Coach Chris Bonfoco of Modern Vision MMA and Muay Thai Niagara MMA. Nine points are awarded for gold medals while three points are awarded for silver and one point for bronze. Team Ascension Niagara amassed an impressive 72 medals in total. "We were also very happy with the other local schools who attended as we got to see them on the podium several times as well as their teams brought a lot of spirit and volunteers to the event as well," continued Bonfoco speaking of St. Catharine's Evolve MMA and Niagara Falls' Brasa Niagara.
Team Ascension Niagara is a network of schools including Modern Vision MMA of Welland and Niagara Falls and St. Catharine's Muay Thai Niagara. Plans are already in motion for next years event which is looking to be hosted again at the Scotia Centre. "We really liked this venue as did the competitors who came down to the event," said Blayne Bonfoco.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a Martial Art that has swept the world over the past twenty years after UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie shocked the World when he used the art to dominate at the orginal UFC event. The original UFC featured a style versus style martial arts tournament which saw the undersized Brazilian easily joint lock and choke his way past boxers, wrestlers, karate black belts and kickboxers. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an art based on grappling, throws, ground control all geared toward submitting opponents via joint locks and submissions. Today the art is the base for Modern Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the popular UFC. Other arts have become significant as well but Jiu-Jitsu remains its base.