6th American Cup
From Gracie Magazine
It’s no news competition Jiu-Jitsu is seeing its best days, one need only peek at the number of competitors to have signed up for the last Pan and the upcoming tournaments such as the NY Open, Professional World Cup and the American Cup.
Children play a vital role in collaborating in gi competition’s growth and strengthening, in the opinion of black belt Claudio Franca, organizer of the 2nd American Cup Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament, to take place this coming 25th and 26th of April at Los Gatos High School, in Los Gatos, California.
To Franca, children are the base of this whole process and haven’t been paid their due attention. And with that in mind the black belt made it clear that on the first day of the American Cup they would be the stars of the show.
“If we endeavor to put together a competitive team here in the United States in the future we need to start with the kids, there’s no point in starting with guys who are 25, 23 years old… the guys will get good, but not at a competition black belt level,” stated Franca, in an interview with GRACIEMAG.com.
In carrying out this project, Franca is more than qualified. He was one of those responsible for organizing the Atlantico Sul Cup, in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, 20 years ago, and ever since 1996 has been putting on the US Open annually, in California.
For greater information on the American Cup BJJ, visit the www.americancupbjj.com website.
See what Mr. Franca has to say about the upcoming tournament and the role of kids below:
What is the 2nd American Cup Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament going to be like?
This is the second installment of the event, which will take place at Los Gatos High School, in Los Gatos, California. The championship focuses a great deal on the children, the objective is to provide them incentive and launch the kids in Jiu-Jitsu.
Why the focus on kids?
My aim is to develop Jiu-Jitsu for kids here in the United States, because the future of Jiu-Jitsu is the kids. If we endeavor to put together a competitive team here in the United States in the future we need to start with the kids, there’s no point starting with guys who are 25, 23 years old… the guys will get good, but not at a competition black belt level. So that’s the initial idea, to give greater support to the kids. I’ve been feeling kids have been a bit “left out,” there are so many tournaments with adults, masters and seniors and almost nothing for the children.
How is the American Cup organized?
It is divided over two days of competition. Saturday is a day just for the kids, with medals, well-defined divisions by age, weight and as I said earlier, according to all the IBJJF’s rules, etc… Sunday is just for adults and has all the belt groups: white, blue, purple, brown and black, with juvenile, masters and seniors, as usual.
What is the competition atmosphere like seeing as the first day is just for kids?
On Saturday we see the kids showing up with their uncles, grandparents, fathers and mothers… it’s a family championship. We try and keep the mood real light. We remove all the techniques that are dangerous like the heel hook and spinal locks. Besides that, the referees are well trained and stop the matches whenever a hold is in place – mainly with the little kids of 4, 5 years of age – like armbars, for example. It truly is a different type of championship, a really light atmosphere.
What are your expectations for this second edition?
I’m almost completely sure this second edition will have a greater number of kids signed up, because last year there were a lot of people with misgivings about having a championship for kids. So after everyone saw how well organized it was, folks became really happy about it. That will surely bring up the number of kids signed up.