Battle at the Ballroom – Purple belts aim to shine
BJJ247 returns to the historic and grand setting of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Sunday to hosting the 4th Blackpool International Open, with an added incentive for purple belts, who will have the chance to win an all-expenses paid package to compete in the IBJJF Europeans 2016.
Spectators , staff and competitors alike will be gearing up to watch the purple belt absolute from the elegant stalls and balconies of the ballroom, which dates back as far as 1891, as some of the best purple belts in the country have registered their names to compete for the package. The Tower was previously the home of the Blackpool Open and welcomes BJJ247 back with open arms following a venue hiatus in 2014.
Listening to competitor feedback, BJJ247 will run the adult purple gi divisions in the morning and provide competitors with an hour break before the absolute starts. This will ensure all competitors who register for the absolute are in the best condition to win the package. Alongside the Europeans prize, provided and the Bad Boy Gi bundle worth over £180 by the BJJ Shop, the absolute winner will be featured on the BJJ247 website, giving a large amount of exposure for the athlete who emerges top of the pile.
Spectators and competitors alike will know the purple belt absolute will be a spectacle with the Birmingham International Open setting the bench mark. Carlson Gracie London’s Mateusz Flaga took gold in the blue belt absolute and secured entry, accommodation and travel to Lisbon in January and Gi bundle courtesy of the BJJ Shop, during an action packed day at the Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre in Birmingham.
There has been a large amount of purple belts register ahead of the event, with some big names on the domestic circuit, including: Sean Coates, a Progress Jiu-Jitsu sponsored athlete and highly decorated purple belt under Victor Estima. Sebastian Szyszka, a powerful and explosive competitor, fresh off Abu Dhabi silver medal success under Lucio Sergio dos Santos. Both Lee Simpson and Steven Playfair who went to war at the TUFF Invitational this weekend in Essex – Lee is one of the most active competitors in UKBJJ and trains under Scott ‘Kojak’ Pickering and Charlie McDonald, two Mario Sukata black belts, and Steven is an experienced and dangerous competitor having competed and trained under Rick Young, one of the first black belts from the UK. Team Lagarto Teeside’s Grant Short has also registered, as has Oliver Falkingham of Gracie Barra Preston, who made waves at blue belt, looking for his first taste of success following his recent promotion.
Phil Clegg, an extremely experienced Ultra Heavyweight and BJJ247 referee will also compete, as will Nadip Khera, one of the most active competitors in the UK – from one of the country’s most respected gyms in Gracie Barra Birmingham, the home of Braulio Estima.
Ahead of the event, BJJ247 Director Lawrence Dutton said:
“July 12th 2015 will now always be an important weekend in my BJJ247 journey. BJJ247 are bringing BJJ back to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom – the battle in the ballroom!” Dutton explained.
“This iconic venue always gives goose bumps as a standard and we are really happy to have signed a 2 year exclusive deal with the Tower, meaning competitors can look forward to 2016 already.
The last event in Birmingham brought world class Blue Belts threw the doors resulting in some amazing matches and Im really pumped about watching the Purple Belt divisions never mind the Absolutes. I see guys like Steven Playfair, Sean Coates, Lee Simpson, Dez Parker and Grant Short competing at our events regularly, so to be able to offer them such an amazing prize to compete for is a dream come true.
I hope you all enjoy the Blackpool International BJJ Open and see you all in Brighton!”