ONRA! Through The Eyes of Rome…

Another Awesome Write up Rome!

Hafa adai.

For any grapplers interested in competing, for any spectators interested in watching, and for those travelers interested in exploring, the Art of War 5 All-Island Grappling and Submission Challenge is this Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym in Saipan.

It’s June in Guam and a number of our students in off-island studies are returning home for a summertime of fun, catching up and — training?

Summer always seems to be an exciting time for training with many students of the martial arts because it’s an opportunity to share techniques and strategies from academies abroad and, in effect, improve our collective skills as an island and industry with its horizons now focused on the larger arena in world martial arts competition.

Even with the speed bumps that we might be finding in mixed martial arts, it seems that our Brazilian jiu-jitsu community moves forward unaffected by issues that challenge its professional partner.

The 2010 Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Championship was just two weekends ago and we should be proud to see, despite our small population and even smaller island, how visible Guam has become in the sport and martial art of BJJ that is fast sweeping the world.

For those of us who might have caught a look at the first-ever live broadcast of the BJJ World Championships, it was a proud moment to not only catch frequent glimpses of Guam-based clothing company logos, it was also a pleasure to watch Shoyoroll and Guam’s own Vince Quitugua in a lengthy interview and give fight commentary at such a widely broadcast event. And a salute to the Carlson Gracie Academy and a host of other Guam representatives for carrying our island into that prestigious arena.

We’ve got a CBJJ blackbelt card holder now in Stephen Roberto from the Purebred/Lloyd Irvin Jiu-jitsu Academy.

And, last but definitely not least, let’s give heartfelt congratulations to a name not unfamiliar to the Mariana Islands’ fight and golf fans, to a young athlete focused on the positive promotion of competitive martial arts, and to a fighter who boasts one of our island’s most impressive MMA resumes. Ladies and gentlemen, (winning five matches for the title) our third Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Champion —Frank “The Crank” Camacho.

Frank The Crank Camacho Pan Ams 2010

Frank The Crank Camacho Pan Ams 2010

Cuki Alvarez said it well two weeks ago when he mentioned we’d be gaining world championships.

It was pretty funny that only two days later, that’s exactly what happened.

As an athlete or competitor, world championships seem to be the ultimate goal. But how often do we question oursleves on our goals as martial artists?

Guam has really grown and is really proving itself an asset to world BJJ. As time unfolds, our island seems to be well connecting itself to world major events and world top athletes. And, in effect, bridging those that surround us to a vibe of positivity.

As islanders, this gives us pride; as industry it gives us credibility; as competitors it gives us accessibility; and as spectators it gives us entertainment. All the while, as students of the arts, it gives us education.

Which Came First?

So, was it the code of our martial arts training that gave us opportunity in sport? Or, was it the opportunity in sport that gave us our code in martial arts training?

We can sit and think about that for hours, but while we ponder these thought, we can agree on one thing — Brazilian jiu-jitsu has been very positive for the island of Guam, and Guam is giving back by being positive to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

We have grown from a dark corner of secret training to becoming a beacon of industry intelligence for other islands, a crossroad for opportunities for traveling professionals, and an internationally respected destination for quality training packaged in golden sunsets and platinum Hafa Adais.

Congratulations to Mariana Island BJJ, not just for the World Championships, but for good composure, for healthy competition, for a thriving youth atmosphere, and for a job done well and most humbly –forever a work in progress.

Thanks for dropping by.

Roman Dela Cruz is a mixed martial arts super-fan, and a representative for Fury MMA.

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