HFT / A jiu-jitsu event like no other!

12:00:00 AM

Franco is a jiu-jitsu purple belt and MMA fighter, respected in the community not just for his skill, but for his good nature. Alfred is an extraordinary matchmaker who, in recent years, has put together some of the most exciting bouts in URCC history. Jeboy, like Alfred, is a big part of URCC, being the production manager who makes sure all the pieces come together and run smoothly. As for me, well, my OC-ness and my being a nerd comes in handy every so often. 

Despite our combined experience, however, I felt that we were still in over our heads. This was Triumvirate Fighting's first BJJ venture as a team (we've worked together for MMA already), and of course, we were bound to hit a few speed bumps.

But we got lucky. For starters, we had Stratminds, one of the best event production specialists around. We had a marketing person, Verns, who landed us awesome sponsorship deals. And of course, there's Commercenter Alabang, who believed in our concept from the day we pitched it to them. They all took a chance on us and with us, and for that, we will always be truly grateful.
URCC Founder Alvin Aguilar graced our event! 
I'm talking about Artesuave Manila, the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competition for white and blue belts we organized in Commercenter Alabang just last weekend. Aside from the tournament, the event also featured a lifestyle expo, four incredible superfights, and seminars.
The competition was a blast. I think all our competitors had a great time, and we were glad to have had the chance to offer an event like this to the local jiu-jitsu community. Although the sport is not yet in our mainstream, we have already managed to produce WORLD CHAMPIONS: Maybelline Masuda, Eros Baluyot, and Meggie Ochoa! Aside from the Mundials, the likes of JR Rulloda, Joey Lepiten, Annie Ramirez, Dwight Tallo, and Jan Hao have been consistently adding to our country's BJJ medal tally in the international competitive scene, one event at a time.
Best photo of the event, for me.
We were overwhelmed by the support we received from the community! Almost all the jiu-jitsu schools were represented, and we even got a good pull from the MMA gyms for no-gi. We got fighters coming in all the way from Pangasinan and Batangas, but what really floored me was the fact that we had registrants from Singapore and UAE.
Glad to have you at the event, Mark! 
Another pleasant surprise: I had no idea that the Mark Eddiva who sent me his registration details like everyone else did was the same Mark Eddiva who fought in the UFC. How cool is THAT?!?! Plus, actor Rocco Nacino also signed on to compete - he's been the resident commentator of URCC when aired in GMA7, but I had no idea he was a fighter, as well. He and Franco actually know each other from way back - apparently, Rocco fought JR in a striking challenge a few years ago.
Hi Nikko and Adrian! And Fred, too! 
And then there were the superfights. Three of the four exciting matches ended in a draw - that's how well-matched they are! I mean, I expected them to be good because Franco and Alfred were the matchmakers, but I'll admit I didn't expect the fights to be as awesome as they were. Stephen Salazar was the only one who managed a win against EJ Maano in the gi superfight.

Isaiah Ordiz and Drex Zamboanga were a treat to watch, and so were Gab Dy and Jimboy Palinta. Jimboy was actually a last-minute replacement for Hideo Morikawa, who, like Ali Khatibi, had to pull out of the fight due to injury. I appreciate that Hideo still attended the event to show his support. Franco told me he even apologized that he was unable to fight, but really, it wasn't necessary; fighters get injured all the time - occupational hazard - and we don't fault him for it.
Photo from CJ's camp
My favorite superfight would have to be the one between CJ de Tomas and Bernard Soriano. CJ's wrestling has gotten so much better since the first time I watched him fight, but that's not why I love that kid. I'm a fan of his because of his character - he's genuinely a good guy. During the match, he managed to pick up Bernard, but because they were already at the edge of the mat, he "slammed" his opponent in the gentlest way possible (the crowd actually laughed a bit at how cute the slam was). He may have been there to win, but he valued Bernard's safety over the right to call himself the winner of the match. RESPECT.

Although we've received lots of heart-warming congratulatory messages for Artesuave Manila, the event was far from perfect, and I'll be the first one to admit that. We started late on Day 1. The program wasn't all too organized. We could have done so much better, and we will. Yes, we will - at Artesuave Manila 2016. BOOM!

Thank you to all our partners - OLX Philippines, our Major Sponsor; Wicked Fight Wear, our Apparel Partner; Samsung Philippines, our Technology Partner, and Lifeline Rescue, our Ambulance Partner. Mad props to our Participating Sponsors - iFLIX, Gatorade, Mountain Dew, HeadBlade, and Uniflex Gym and Cafe - and of course, our Official Online Media Partner, Dojo Drifter. Let's not forget about our exhibitors - BAMF MMA Center, Origin BJJ Philippines, and Grips Philippines, and of course, our seminar speaker, Jericho Viejo of Forge: Martial Fitness.
Thank you! 
From Triumvirate Fighting, again, a BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made the event a success! OSS!!!


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