This was a very special event for several reasons. First off, my Professor Tom Cronin told me a few months back, “I need you to register for the Chicago Open”. He went on to tell me that Carlson Gracie Team wanted to make a statement this year and we needed to register as many competitors as possible. Secondly, I had never been to Chicago before and so visiting the city to compete was like a vacation and a competition all rolled up in one. We also got to hang out with Carlson Gracie Jr. and visit the new location of Carlson Gracie Headquarters.

I registered as M5, Med Heavy Purple. I had two other competitors in my bracket. They were Brad McCrillis of Brasa Team and John Geyston of Royce Gracie BJJ. Unfortunately John Geyston was injured and had to pull out. That left me and Brad in the bracket.



I was able to submit Brad with a Bow and Arrow choke after taking his back. This brings my purple belt record to 12-3.


Since there were no other competitors we both agreed not to have a second match and so I won Gold. I signed up for the Open Class and no one else signed up so I won the Open Class by default.

We had some great times, made some new friends and I was also able to witness all three of my professors dominate their divisions and the Open Class divisions. (Pictured below)

Photos by Mike Anderson

Also, Carlson Gracie Team took first in Gi and Nogi!!!!! I’d say we made a statement Tom. 🙂


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Lunch at Brazilian Bowl. Yum.



Double Gold



My three professors with Carlson Jr.


Team Trophies