At its core jiu jitsu is more than just training, more than just getting on the mat and putting in the hours. It is a practice that demands one explore the limits of their body and character as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their friends. This practice becoming habit certainly builds skill, but perhaps more importantly, the people you practice with develop into a community that is arguably more necessary to the continued growth of your art and self exploration than anything you could do on your own. This is a particular journey that you cannot do alone. It is uniquely rewarding though. After a while, one’s jiu jitsu becomes a vehicle for their creativity and an expression of self, and the community that you have grown in is like a second family. This is, at least, what jiu jitsu is to me at this point in my training, and a particular perspective of a jiu jitsu practice that I try to share.
Every Sunday for the past few years, the Portland Jiu Jitsu community has come together for an open mat; individuals from schools around the city leave at the door their worries, politics, and egos to gather with like-minded friends who share these core values of training hard, self-exploration, and creativity.
Beginning April 5, on the first Sunday of every month, I now want to extend the spirit of this open mat to something just a little more formal, a tournament that aims to maintain everything you love about jiu jitsu without bringing in all the baggage. This aims to be a small tournament by grapplers, for grapplers.