A Tribute To Reid Weiland (Rest In Peace)

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Reid Weiland (1993-2014)

The mark of  man’s life can forever be seen on those they leave behind. Reid Weiland, 21, a grappler with World Jiu Jitsu and later McCune's Martial Arts, left his mark in ways that no words can fully express. The feeling of loss and sorrow for such an honest, sincere and talented young man like Reid is only encompassed by the joy that he brought to those around him.

This tribute could have been ten pages long with the outpouring of support and stories about Reid from those who knew him best and loved him unconditionally.

This tribute could have been about the wry smile of a young man who was making a mark on the grappling scene, destined for greatness. It could have been about 45 minute long grappling matches in submission only tournaments. It could have been about submitting higher ranked opponents regularly. It could have been page after page of testament to his skill.

But skill comes and goes. What lasts, what really matters, is the person who wields that skill.

There are no better words of tribute than words from those who knew Reid the best. Here are just some of the quotes received from family, friends and even opponents on the mats.

  • When he first came to the gym I was on the brink of giving up on jiu jitsu even though I loved it. I was just getting battered by every new white belt with a chip on their shoulder, but he was very different. From the start he was gentle and kind with everyone and at the same time kicking the ass of guys twice his size. He really put perspective on what could be achieved with hard work.
  • It was an honor to compete with Reid.
  • Thank you for everything you taught me about Jits, friendship and life.
  • Whether it was his natural coming of age, the art and discipline of BJJ, or the people in his life he turned into a young man everyone loved and respected.  He was completely dedicated to the art and fiercely loyal.
  • Reid Weiland was everything I hope my boys will be someday.
  • You challenged me to better myself at every step.
  • You were like a younger brother Reid, you may be gone from this world, but you have impacted many people with your upbeat spirit and I have no doubt you will continue to live on in the hearts of your friends, teammates and family. R.I.P. brother. I know you'll be watching down on us teaching away.
  • He was driven. He was kind. He was selfless. He IS a motivation.
  • Outside of the gym he was a positive force on everyone around him. I've never met anyone as optimistic. There aren't enough Reids in the world.
  • He had a very real and very significant impact on my life - and I'm a better person for having had the opportunity to know him for as long as I did.
  • Reid was such a beautiful soul with so much love and potential.
  • He will never be forgotten and every jiu jitsu tournament I attend I'll be thinking of him.
  • Unbelievably talented, a future ADCC champion, and at the same time one of the most humble people you could ever meet.
  • I miss you my friend. Your spirit will always roll in all of us.
  • Reid was, for lack of a better word, a brother to me. He taught me so much about the sport, about motivation, and about the ability to change one's self for the better in a very short period of time.

The stories about Reid came in bunches, from his earning his purple belt on the spot after submitting a series of purple belts (as a blue belt) in a submission only tournament, to the simple way he carried himself and inspired those around him. These were only a scattered few quotes received about the life and impact of Reid Weiland.

He even made an impression on a BJJ ref who was asked to score the 1st place match at the Submission Hunt a few years ago (more videos have been posted by friends on YouTube)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6K88CvmM54

The video doesn’t really show the dumbfounded look on the ref’s face as he slowly realized what the young white belt had just done.

Was that a hopping/flying armbar against a 4-stripe blue belt?

That was the thing about watching Reid grapple and mature: you couldn't blink or you would miss something amazing.

This tribute is not filled with stories about Reid because they still glow brightly in the lives of everyone he touched. As such, please reach out to each other, touch base with the other people who Reid impacted in his short but amazing life and remember him for all he was. Share his stories forever, give him the real tribute that he deserves by being everything he would want you to become.

The world is a little darker now than it used to be, but there is no question that our lives are better for having known a man like Reid Weiland.

Rest In Peace.