2019 No Gi AZ State Preview
By Danny O’Donnell
The AZ No Gi State Championships is the only AZBJJF no gi tournament of the year and is also the first tournament of the 2019/2020 competition season. The tournament follows IBJJF no gi rules and regulations and is a great chance for Arizona’s best competitors to become more well-rounded competing without the gi. Maracaba BJJ, GD Jiu Jitsu Academy, and Lotus Club AZ were the top academies of the 2018/2019 season and are all bringing multiple athletes to this tournament. Maracaba BJJ has 15 competitors, GD Jiu Jitsu Academy has 13 competitors, and Lotus Club AZ has 7 competitors.
While it is difficult to predict which divisions will be the most exciting, the black belt divisions feature some of the best competitors in the state. The Black Belt Adult Heavy division has 2 competitors, Jake Watson from Maracaba BJJ and Adrian Nez from GD Jiu Jitsu Academy. Jake was the #1 ranked brown belt for the 2018/2019 AZBJJF season and was recently promoted to black belt. Adrian was also recently promoted to black belt and finished in 3rd place at the 2018 No Gi American Nationals. The Black Belt Master 1 Medium Heavy division also has 2 competitors, Jay Shellhammer of Soul Fighters Scottsdale and Matt Mamolen from Ares/Nava BJJ. Jay is a 2019 American National No Gi champion while Matt won the No Gi Worlds at purple belt.
Be sure to catch the black belt divisions and all the others at Phoenix College!