November 8,9, 2003

This weekend at the North American Grappling National Championships, the Lloyd Irvin Competition Team proved once again that they are champions both off the mat and in this instance, ON THE MAT!

The weekend began with the junior competition team traveling on friday night to the hotel in order to ensure the proper rest and relaxation before the event on Saturday morning. Once morning came the team was ready. The tournament weigh-ins began at 9:00a.m. and our group couldn't wait to eat. All of our students made weight with no problem except one. Krystal Allen weighed in 1 pound heavy and was not happy (she had to run this pound off before she could eat). So after a few laps around the gym she made it. Our kids anxiously awaited their match as the ate the breakfast of champions, burger king breakfast sandwiches and french toast.

The matches began promptly at 11:30p.m. Representing our 40 pounders was Ross Olexa at his very first tournament. Uh oh Rookie mistake, Ross forgets to turn his card in to the judges and gets left out of the "No - Gi" bracket. He came back to fight in the Gi division and lost very tough match fighting hard to the end.

Carlo Winning

Carlo and Ross

The 50 lb. beginner division showcased two of our up and coming superstars, Ti-Jean Awad and Carlo Levell. Carlo had a great first match which he was winning by points before his opponent surprized him with a submission with just seconds left. Ti-jean came out and dominated his first opponent with 4 takedowns and a guard pass making it to the semi-final round. He ended up losing a tough match and finished a very respectable 4th in his first ever competition. Carlo came back in the Gi division and submitted his first opponent via triangle submission and then fought one of the most exciting matches of the entire tournament. He ended up losing the "only" junior match that went to overtime and received a standing ovation from many of the competitors, spectators and instructors for his unbelievable efforts. Carlo could have easily been awarded the most technical grappler of the day, not allowing his guard to be passed once. Oh yeah, at 6 years old, Carlo was the youngest child in both divisions he fought in.

On this day, the 50 lb division belonged to Krystal Allen. Krystal entered the advanced No - Gi division and proceeded to demolish her first two opponents. In the finals she met up with last years champion. He hasn't lost a match since he lost to Krystal last year in the Gi division. A match that the opposing team felt was a controversial loss and refused to acknowledge Krystal as the winner. Well needless to say, IT WAS ON! Krystal came out with a mission and that was to TAP THIS KID OUT! Krystal attacked submission after submission scoring over and over again. There would be no controversy this time. Krystal wins the championship and finally receives her handshake and acknowledgement. She returned to the Gi division and submitted all her opponents before again meeting her old nemesis in the finals again. This time she fought hard but fell just barely short and got the Silver medal.

Krystal Allen

Krystal winning belt

In the 60 lb division we had proper beginner representation with newcomers Victor Grubbs and Dashawn Allgood. Both Victor and Dashawn are all out aggressive grapplers and showed the competition what's in store for them in the future. Victor impressively took Silver in the Beginner No-Gi division while Dashawn grabbed the Silver in the Gi. Wow! Silver Medals in the first tournament. Representing the Advanced Grapplers was Masters Club Superstar Malachi Edmond. Malachi just received his yellow belt in BJJ a couple of weeks earlier and had been training hard for this weekend. Malachi finished an impressive 4th in both divisions while taking all of his matches down to the wire.

Malichi with medal


Angelo Claiborne and Derrick Holmes were representing the Soldiers in the 70 lb weight class. Although neither placed in either division both fought very hard and with the spirit of champions never giving up even though both were the two youngest competitors in the division.

Javon winning his belt

The 80 pounders should have been called the Lloyd Irvin Grappling All-stars. Four competitors, four bjj yellow belts, all in the advanced division who can ask for more. Ryan Villogram, Demetri King, Roger Villogram, and Tommy Parker who was competing in his very first tournament. Also in this division was Yoni Ginor from Team TSK. Yoni, 84 lbs, 14 years old and multiple grappling champion up and down the east coast. In the No-Gi division, Ryan Villogram showed why he has been dubbed "Lil' Rickson" with an awesome display of technique and finesse beyond his years. Ryan, 11 years old, ended up losing a war with Yoni in the finals by a score of 12 x 9 in a very exciting match finishing with a silver medal. Tommy (T.J.) won two matches in two capture the bronze.

(left) Demetri and his belt

In the Gi division Lloyd Irvin's Little Soldiers would not be denied. First, Roger Villogram, visibly upset over his 1st round loss to Yoni in the No-Gi division came out and performed a flying armbar on his first opponent then quickly switching to a wicked triangle, finishing his opponent in less than 30 seconds. Little Brother Ryan than came out and once again performed a clinic on his first opponent winning by approximately 20 points. Then T.J. and Demetri followed suit and both submitted their first opponent. On the other side Yoni submitted his opponent and received a bye to the finals. Dilemna, 4 competitors, all L.I.M.A.A., who goes to the finals. In an outstanding display of teamwork and loyalty 3 members step aside and allow Demetri King to take the stage. Now Demetri had already lost to Yoni numerous times and couldn't wait to get the chance to turn the tables.

Javon and Belt

Well this was it, a golden opportunity, the finals of the biggest grappling tournament on the east coast and Demetri was more than ready. With Master Lloyd's flawless coaching, Demetri dominated Yoni with superb positioning and strategy to win 8 to 0 and the Title.

Manny Young and Donnale King were the 90 lb representatives. Also in the 90 lb division was Michael Trasso, undefeated in over 2 years. In the No-gi advanced Manny lost a tough match while fighting hard. Donnale, who qualified to fight in the beginner division, dominated his first two opponents before DEFEATING last year's champion, Michael Trasso, to take home the Title.

Darius Churchman, Steven Brown, and Keona Williams represented the team in a very tough 115-130 lb weight class. Keona had a very tough match, competing hard even though she had taken a small break from grappling to concentrate on her studies. Both Steven and Darius received 3rd and 4th in both divisions closing out the semi-finals bracket. Both showed great promise and spirit while winning two matches a piece.

Once again Lloyd Irvin's Martial Arts accumulated enough points to bring home the team banner. Another outstanding performance by an outstanding group of kids. The parents were also very supportive, many of whom went out of there way to assure that each and every competitor had a positive experience.

Our Champions getting some well deserved Rest and Relaxation
back at the Hotel after the competition


Click here to see more photos from this event.