Sunday, 28 December 2008

Notes from a foreign country..........

Just thought I'd share a few posts with you about my trip to Amman, where I was invited out by Zaid Mirza (more about him later) to report on the Capital Challenge International BJJ event and to compete in the purple belt division (the less said about that the better lol).

This event aimed to be the biggest and best BJJ event hosted to date and had the highest paying purses ever, which reflected in the black belt brackets boasting such names as Cobrinha, Sergio Moraes, Braulio Estima, Leo Leite, Kyra Gracie, Lagarto, Gabriel Vella, Fabricio Werdum, Cleber Lopes, Tiago Alves, Adriano Silva and dozens of other black belts and brown belts.

The competition covered all coloured belts from white belt upward and prize money was divided in the following way ($ pay outs for 1st and 2nd place only in all brackets apart from brown/black belt bracket)

White belt - 1st place $800 2nd place $400
Blue belt - 1st place $1200 2nd place $600
Purple belt- 1st place $2000 2nd place $1000
Brown/black- 1st place $10000 2nd place $6000 3rd place $3000

Open weight - $10000

Female open weight white to purple 1st place $1000 2nd place $500

Female open weight brown/black $4000 2nd place $1000

With payouts this generous, competition was fierce and no easy matches for any fighter in any belt division lay ahead.

SENI UK organisers please note the payouts in this event and start saving up, time to treat the UK fighters in the same vein!!!

Over 15 countries attended the event from all over the world, including a strong Middle East contingent from Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Palestine and a mighty UK presence of the one and only Fighting Photographer, always at the ready with a camera in one hand and a gi in the other. I was to be fighting in the purple belt -88K division and was looking forward to international competition and was very excited to be involved in such a large scale jiu jitsu event.

The trip out to Jordan was, in typical style, a manic affair from the start; I'd been in touch with Zaid and knew I'd be coming to the event and after work on Monday 15th I came home to find an email from him with my flight details - Tuesday 16th at 1130H!!!

There then followed a flurry of phone calls to students letting them know what was happening and one to my boss letting him know I was off in the morning and then a grovelling call to a friend to get him to take me to the airport in the morning. Once the dust had settled, it was a quick case of packing a bag for the week ahead and for once I hadn't forgotten anything and jumped aboard the first plane to Istanbul for a five hour wait for my connecting flight which took me to Queen Alia Airport in Jordan, where I was welcomed effusively from all the taxi drivers, eager for me to spend my Jordanian Dinars with them. After much kissing of cheeks and hugs and wide friendly smiles off half a dozen taxi drivers, I got into a taxi unscathed and headed to the Grand Hyatt Amman, which was to be my oasis in the desert country of Jordan for the next seven days.................

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