Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix Pleasanton, CA: In the Eyes of Daniel Madrid

by Grace Fighting Systems on December 12, 2013

Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix with Daniel Madrid
Daniel Madrid Placing 1st in Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix.

My travels took me to Pleasanton, California to compete in the prestigious Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix held by Dave Camarillo (owner of Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu). I was fortunate enough to have a great training camp for this tournament and have family/friends that were able to help me raise enough money for the travel expenses. Training with some of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners at Grace Fighting Systems Training Center and in Arizona such as; Jose Munoz, Rich Young, Andrew Brittin, Kevin Scott, Rylan Echalar, Eric Novack, and my little brother Gabriel Medrano just to name a few. Leading me in my lessons is Professor Paul Nava (Nava BJJ), he and his team have helped me take my Jiu Jitsu game to a whole other level and for that I’m thankful. Two other Professors that I need to thank are Gerson Atoigue and Carlos Farias; both have allowed me to come visit their schools and learn new techniques that substantially helped me in my success in this tournament.

Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix Pleasanton, Ca
Daniel Madrid with Amelia Shakespeare
from Just A Girl.

My sponsor Eminence Kimono owned by Andrew Gardineer and Leslie Rials can’t be thanked enough. I’m proud and honored to wear the Eminence gear, without them I would’ve never been introduced to the Shakespeare family who were kind enough to take me in for my stay and also show me around the great state of California, such a loving family and they made me feel like family. I also got to meet another sponsored athlete of their sister company Just A Girl, Amelia Shakespeare. Watching this 8 year old athlete compete in what she loves and admires is an inspiration in its own, not only did she compete in her weight bracket, she also went up in weight and went on to take double gold at the Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix. You can read more on Amelia and her incredible story at www.justagirlbjj.com.

I had two brackets to compete in at the Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix, the Brown Belt Absolute and the No-Gi Expert Open. In the Gi Divison there were 4 of us competing, my first match I played a tornado guard and was successful submitting my opponent with a triangle choke. In the final match it was a feeling out process until I pulled guard and started to play a De La Riva guard. I was able to use a modified Gustavo Dantas sweep and put myself in the lead by 2 points. Standing after the sweep my opponent jumped guard and I managed to move into half guard and submit my opponent with a cross choke finishing out the bracket in 1st place.

In the No-Gi Division there was a registered 18 opponents including myself, unfortunately due to some injuries some were forced to drop out shortening the division. My first match I managed to get a nice arm drag to leg trip and finishing the match with a toe hold. My second match was by far the toughest trial of my day, Andres Salas a very skilled and agile BJJ practitioner. He and I faced off in the Gi division in the first match so I had somewhat of a good understanding on his style. He managed a few takedowns getting his point score up to 4-0 and managed to hold that lead on me for the majority of the match. With less than a minute left in the match, I resorted to my tornado guard which allowed me to get to a 50/50 guard and submit Andres with a toe hold. In the final match I decided to just play a guard game with another highly skilled No-Gi player by the name of Tu Vu fighting out of the Kaijin Gym. Relying on my tornado guard again, I was able to find another triangle choke and finish the match with a triangle/arm bar submission which not only concreted my place as the champion, but also won me the sickest submission award for the day.

It was a great honor to compete in this tournament (Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix) and meet one of my BJJ Idols of all time, Dave Camarillo. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to venture out there again and train with Professor Camarillo and his elite team. There are so many thanks that I need to say, but I don’t want you to read a short novel, so thank you to everyone who had a part in helping me achieve this great success, this victory is not only mine, but ours to share!


1st Place at Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix

Daniel Madrid at the Jiu Jitsu Grand Prix with – from Left to Right: Dave Camarillo,
Robbie Shakespeare, Amelia Shakespeare, TJ Shakespeare, Troy Shakespeare,
Tyson Shakespeare

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