Three hours of driving from Northampton Massachusetts to New York, NY for the annual IBJJF Pan NoGI Championship. This tournament is considered one of the Top 4 IBJJF Tournaments of the calendar year. BJJ Blue Belt and decorated competitor herself, returned to defend her Crown as she was Champion of this tournament in 2018. Suzanne Grubb showed great poise and control in her matches but lost narrowly in them by an advantage and one by referee's decision. Suzanne finished with a Silver Medal in her division and a Bronze in the Open Weight (Absolute) Division. Team Link Northampton BJJ Instructor Gary Alvarez Jr said of her performance, "She is always a pleasure to watch compete. She makes everyone play her game and we're gonna Master coming out the other end with better results. I mean, we're talking about a Woman who has plenty of Gold Medals at Blue belt and even a Bronze at the IBJJF Masters World Championships in Las Vegas. At this point, we are focused on making her the best blue belt and grappler that she can be… she has the will and skill to do it."
Suzanne Grubb is currently the #5 NoGI Master 2 Blue Belt in the World (ibjjf.com). Suzanne has been in the top 5 for almost two years.
Team Link Northampton BJJ Instructor Gary Alvarez Jr. was matched up against 2018 Worlds Bronze Medalist Glauco Lima in the elimination match to go to the Semifinals. The match was a close one and saw some great strategy played by both competitors. with about one minute left in the match and already ahead by one advantage, Gary scored 2 points with an Ouchi Gari takedown. When the fighters hit the ground Coach Gary found himself in a deep triangle which he was able to calmly implement an escape, but not without some tenacity and composure… Oh, and LOTS of drilling. The semi final match was much of the same with a chess game appearing between combatants. in this match, Coach Gary erred on a guard jump that cost him two points. The opponent being ahead on the scoreboard played an intelligent ensuing minutes that saw advantage worthy submission attempts by Coach Gary that included a calf crusher attempt as time expired. Gary Alvarez Jr was able to place 3rd and score a Bronze medal in his division.
These results further solidify our fighters and team as some of the best in the Region and World.
Special gratitude to Nathaniel Garland (multi time IBJJF Gold Medalist) and Sam Colenback (IBJJF Silver Medalist) for making the trip and helping to corner/coach our fighters during the tournament!