United States of America, Brazil and Japan

Battle At The Beach 10 Wildwood N.J.

August 1, 2009

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STORY BY KIRIK JENNESS,OWNER MIXEDMARTIALARTS.COM

With contracts signed for 34 events in 2010, there are abundant opportunities for a NAGA vacation weekend, from coast to coast and in all seasons. If you like beaches, fun, and world class competition, one event that cannot be missed is the Battle at the Beach, in Wildwood, New Jersey.

As always, the 2009 event was held at the 280,000 square foot Wildwood Convention Center, located within a day’s drive of onethird of America’s population, with easy access from the New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan area.The state-of-the-art facility is perfectfor state-of-the-art grappling, with the NAGA mats overlooking the beach through two story tall, floor to ceiling, corner-to-corner windows,all in a temperature and acoustically-controlled environment.

Adult Team Competition

The greatest teams on the East Coast were out in force, with Tiger Schulmann’s MMA taking top honors. Much credit for this success goes to Fernando Bernardino, who hasaccomplished an amazing amount in just three years in the USA. Originally trained rigorously in the gi and nothing but the gi in Curitiba, Brazil, “Fernandinho” earned a black belt in over ten years of grueling training. Although hehad never competed no-gi before coming to the USA, he made the transition with amazing rapidity, and now has over 100 students, in both no-gi and MMA. While he began a path familiar to many great coaches of working construction by day, and teaching by night, his instruction is so sought after that he now coaches full time, albeit with a commute from exit 4 to exit 157 each day. For those of you not familiar with New Jersey, that is a lot of driving! With anextraordinary amount accomplished in just three years, his goals for the next three years include fighting in Japan, winning more titles, and of course, leading his team to victory again and again.

Advanced Divisions

The Men’s and Women’s Advanced divisions showed some old and new talent, with Michael“Smoothie” Trasso making the transition from tearing through the Kids and Teens divisions to taking a hard-fought bronze in his Adult division. Dan Simmler deserves recognition for taking first in no-gi and then coming back to take silver in gi, losing only to legendary vale tudo fighter, judoka, and third degree BJJ black belt Jorge ‘Macaco’ Patino.

Conclusion

At the end of Battle at the Beach 10, the challenge was complete. Everyone had prepared extra hard and was a better grappler whether they got a win, lose, or draw. Then with 38 blocks of boardwalk amusement and excitement literally one step outside the arena doors, it was time to take off the gi, put on the shorts and flip-flops and let the “real” fun start!

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