Comp Review: MatMania on 03/12/11

Somewhere past the three Irish pubs (I may have to move) in the small town of Rosemount, Minnesota, lies Petushin Martial Arts. Owned and instructed by it's namesake, Paul Petushin.

Paul is a purple belt in BJJ (a fact that seems to be under some dispute. As I have never rolled against Paul, I cannot testify to his ability, however a rank promotion to brown seems to be overdue) and a black belt in Judo (rumor also has it that his throws border on epic).

He also just happens to be the guy that runs the safest grappling competition I have ever witnessed. It is called MatMania.

Right after weigh-ins, Paul and his assistant instructor went right into the rules:

- Opponents start on their knees. Standing is permitted, only if used to pass and only if you are in someone's guard. If you pick someone up you get -8 points. That is not a typo. MINUS EIGHT.

- No neck cranks. (including guillotines in which you arch your back instead of crunching in)

- No attacks below the waist. NONE at any level.

- No grabbing the back of your opponents head to tighten a triangle choke. I guess some people use this as a crank. Okay, never heard of that, but it isn't my tournament.

- If the match goes off mat, everyone restarts on their knees, regardless of position. My only major point of contention and something that ended up costing one guy points and the eventual match as he was passing close to out of bounds when the ref reset him. This was actually ref error and Paul told him so.

- If your arm is straightened in an armbar, the match is over. Tap or not.

It adds up to a pretty damn safe tournament.

Entry cost was $20.

Sorry, folks, t-shirt trolls (like myself) don't get freebies at this one. If you want a souvenir, it will have to be a medal and you will have to earn it.

So, how was it? Actually, a pretty good time. It was a fairly casual tournament, accented with Paul's, well, accent.

A native of Russia, Paul's voice could be picked out at a crowded NAGA or Grappling Games. He is a serious guy with flashes or surprising humor. His by the book attitudes reflects in his students who are all respectful and talented.

If there was a problem to be found it would probably be lack of numbers. Word of mouth seems to be the majority of the advertising for the event (except for Facebook). There aren't many details that were given ahead of time and there weren't many competitors from the larger schools, all of which are located further to the North and West. Most competitors were from Petushins, MCFM and Minnesota Top Team.

Ideally, things will change with time and a little word of mouth.

All-in-all it is a good little tournament that deserves our support and respect in the BJJ community. Next time it comes around and you see if posted on this blog, give it a shot. How else do you prep for the big shows?

Oh... you don't prep. Well, forget I said anything. Can't wait to roll against you.