If you’ve been living under a rock—or don’t participate at all in social media—then it’s possible you might not know. But if you follow us in any capacity, or train with us at all, we’d be shocked to find out that you were unaware of the fact that Great Grappling Brazilian Jiu Jitsu now has a world champion in the house.
Our own black belt Professor Jeremy Arel, along with brown belt John Piper, competed in the IBJJF 2013 World Masters and Seniors World Championship on Sunday, October 6th in Long Beach, CA. In the case of John, he walked off the mat of his final match as a world champion. Competing in the brown belt middleweight division of 17 athletes, he outlasted four opponents to bring home gold.
In his four matches John, sponsored by Hendrick Cars and Dynasty Gi’s had some close calls—but he also had some truly dominating performances. In his second match, he was down on points with less than 30 seconds remaining, but pulled out a victory with a submission, choking out his opponent from the crucifix position. While he was victorious in his first round and semifinal matches by defeating his opponents on points, he impressively won in the championship match from his favored crucifix position, as his opponent tapped out to a choke and armbar combination (which Megan has aptly named “the charmbar.”)
Obviously, here at Great Grappling we weren’t surprised by the efficacy of John’s crucifix entries and finishes. Any student that trains with him knows it’s his secret weapon, and that once he’s got you locked up it’s only a matter of time before you tap. John’s passion for and dedication to BJJ is evident in every class he attends, and in every tip of assistance he provides to his teammates. But now we can say we’re getting tips from a world champ. To say we’re proud is putting it mildly.
Professor Arel also competed. Though he lost his first and only super heavyweight match on points, it was very inspirational to all of his students since only six months ago he had ACL replacement surgery on his left knee. He’s worked and rehabbed hard just be able to do jiu jitsu again, much less compete at the highest level. The highlight of his match was definitely the Toe Guard Mount Reversal. Much like John’s crucifix, many students have been subjected to it. That sweet moment of mount (okay, we know he lets us get there) are always short-lived once his tenacious toe grip has latched on to your lapel. Still, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing it work on a super heavyweight—in heated battle, no less.
Rather than attempt to offer play-by-play for each match, we’ve added the videos here for your enjoyment. We promise all of the matches were entertaining, from John’s “Please, try to take me down—pretty please?” championship match to Professor Arel’s last-ditch sub attempt that was foiled by time elapsing. In the end, we’re beaming with pride for our Great Grappling leaders, and we’re all excited to see what’s next. (But, honestly, we’re kind of hoping for some crucifix videos.)
John Piper Match 1
John Piper Match 2
John Piper Semi-Final Match 3
John Piper Championship Match 4
Jeremy Arel Match 1