My moment of 2019: Most of the and execution for World Championship competition is pretty stressful for everyone involved but every so often there are some fun moments that lighten things up. During the tense and tactical final of the absolute division, Gordon Ryan took on the great Marcus Buchecha Almeida, a ten time world champion and former ADCC champion and unquestionably of the very greatest Jiu Jitsu athletes of all time. In addition to being among the best exponents of Jiu Jitsu in history, Mr Almeida is also one of the nicest people in the sport. In a sport often divided by team loyalty he is a joy to be around and share time with and possessed of a great and natural sense of humor. The match, as you would expect, was a very tight one. Mr Ryan had gotten off to a strong in the first ten minutes with a beautiful sweep to mount during the time when points were not scored. It was the best of the match thus far and a with greater activity level overall Mr Ryan seemed to be ahead as the match moved closer to the time limit. It was important for Mr Almeida to convey more action as he was in danger of a stalling call, but pressing forward too much meant entering the dangerous guard of Mr Ryan – Mr Almeida intelligently went into a heel hook as a means of conveying a sense aggression to the judges even though heel hooks are not really his specialty – a sound tactical move. The only was that it was Gordon Ryan, like all of my senior students, a master of leg and heel hooks in particular. Mr Ryan looked at him with a “are you really trying to heel hook ME?” look and turned to me coaching on the sideline and smiled. Everyone observing saw the humor of it and chuckled. Mr Almeida saw the humor in it too and shrugged and laughed and went right back on the attack. It was great to see even when two of the very best go at each other with everything they’ve got there can still be some humor and smiles among the action

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