From breakout to breakthrough – the story of Craig Jones and world championships: One of the most memorable breakout performances of the 2017 was that of Australian grappling icon, Craig Jones. He submitted two world champions on day one in spectacular style and really caught the grappling world’s attention. On day two however, all the athletes in his division were now aware of the danger and used positional tactics to shut down his game so that despite his spectacular start, he came away from the event without a medal. Mr Jones did exactly what he needed – he kept working hard on the elements he was good at (submissions), while adding large amounts of time to positional and standing training, all while maintaining a very busy competition schedule to practice the new skills under pressure. He even moved to New York to train full time with the squad to get ready for the big new test. Let me tell you something – it’s tough and difficult just get to ADCC. It’s even more difficult to have a great out performance there among so many champions – but it’s FAR MORE difficult to break through everyone and get to the finals WHEN EVERYONE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO AND HAS COUNTERS SET IN PLACE TO STOP YOU. That’s when you REALLY see how good someone is. Craig Jones came into as a grappling superstar rather than as an unknown. His hard work, intelligent career planning and training truly paid off. This time he showed he was still true to oriented game with three beautiful that ranged over the whole body. He showed his new front headlock/guillotine game that he worked so hard on. His positional and standing game was vastly improved and he used the threat of that to make his submissions even more dangerous. The result? A silver medal that with just a few minor changes could easily have been gold. What a performance by the young man from down under, who showed how growth through intelligent planning and hard work can take your performance from good to great and pave the way for even better performances in the future. It was a great for him and Australian grappling (more on this soon) – congratulations Craig Jones!