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Three Generations Go to Battle at ADCC
If you are a jiu jitsu practitioner and have been for some time, you may have a sense of what a long and arduous road it is to achieve the black belt. Sadly, the vast majority of people who take their first BJJ class, probably won't make it to the coveted black belt level for a wide variety of reasons, some good and maybe some not so good. In addition, the journey is so long that sometimes elements of life can take us to different parts of the world. Therefore, in many cases, to be able to stay within the same academy with your original instructor can be a challenge. Many practitioners, for whatever reasons, may end up moving to different schools and continuing their journey under a new instructor. To remain a homegrown student with your original instructor can be something that can make the road that much more special.
Now when you add to these factors the competitive elements of grappling and see that only a few talented and extremely disciplined practitioners ever achieve world class success and status, it makes this weekend's upcoming ADCC World Championship in Finland all the more special for fans. The ADCC Worlds have long been considered the most prestigious event and the most coveted gold for grappling competitors as only the best of the best are able to secure a spot to this legendary event which is held every two years. So in times when there are usually jiu jitsu and grappling events happening all over the world and every single weekend, the ADCC event maintains a very special place in grapplers' and their fans' hearts. As fans and casual practitioners, we truly have captured lightning in a bottle with this weekends event.
For three well-known New Jersey grapplers who ultimately representing Team Renzo Gracie, the apple truly doesn't fall far from the tree. At this event, Tom DeBlass will compete in his third ADCC event, after winning his third North American Trials to secure his position. This fact is made all the more incredible as he served as the spokesperson and organizer for the ADCC Trials in Jersey and still competed and dominated his division.
He will be joined by his first black belt, the inimitable Garry Tonon, who will also be competing in his third ADCC event. Garry's performance in the 2015 ADCC event in Sao Paulo is one that helped catapault him into the grappling stratosphere. Garry has single handedly given fans some of the most exciting competitive grappling matches in the history of the sport in a relatively few years. At the 2015 ADCC, his match with Kron Gracie is one that is still being talked about. He's given us matches with the one man crippling machine, Rousimar Palhares in Polaris and he's even stepped onto the Metamoris stage and defeated it's much despised spokesperson, Ralek Gracie.
The even more incredible fact is that they will also be joined by Garry's first black belt, the outspoken grappling ace, Gordon Ryan who is ready to stake his claim on ADCC gold at his first event. Will his assassin like skills in the world of submission only grappling bring him the same success in ADCC and leave him with a gold medal to match his crown?
DeBlass has been very transparent on his social media and in recent interviews with that fact that this will likely be his last ADCC Worlds having won the North American Trials on three different occassions. At 35, Tom DeBlass has secured his place in combat history as a jiu jitsu world champion and MMA champion. As a successful academy owner with approximately 350 students and a number of affiliate academies around the world, Tom sees his work in the grappling community entering into a new phase. He is booked with seminars around the world for years to come and recently released the best selling instructional DVD in BJJ Fanatics history. Upcoming DVD projects, including a fitness instructional designed for the average BJJ practitioner to get into the best shape of their lives is forthcoming and there are more projects still in the works.
But he is not going quietly into the good night outside of competition. He has recently competed in multiple Fight To Win Superfights and will most likely continue to take matches as time and his need to compete allow. To prep for the 2017 Worlds, Tom has returned to his roots in the basement of Manhattan's Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy. His students Garry and Gordon have become an integral part of the infamous Danaher Death Squad under the tutelage of the enigmatic Renzo Gracie Black Belt and rashguard proponent, John Danaher. In addition to Tom's ferocious training schedule at his home academy, he has incorporated sessions with his wrestling coach and classes in the famous blue dungeon learning alongside his students from John Danaher.
This event in Finland is one of the most jam-packed grappling events ever filled with a who's who of absolute killers and it is all the more special when you look at the personalities and teams that make up the brackets. Look closely enough and you will see a a group of brothers on the rise, with their leader preparing himself for the next phase of his illustrious career off the mats, but never too far.
For another look at the mindset of black belt Tom DeBlass, check out this piece from BJJ Fanatics where we look specifically on his use of adversity to develop himself into the competitor and BJJ figurehead that he is today.
What better way to get yourself in the ADCC mindset, but to learn from three-time North American Trial winner, ADCC Worlds veteran and former UFC fighter, Tom DeBlass as he shares all of his best tricks to one of his favorite positions, the half guard. You can get his best-selling 4 DVD set "Half Domination" here for only $77 today!