World Clan Seattle Recap /// By: Lea Young
When you hear of an open mat that is open to all affiliations, I don’t know about you, but there’s always some sort of hesitation or anxiety… especially if you come from an academy that isn’t too keen on “cross training.” But when Shoyoroll hosts an open mat… now that’s a different story. After hearing about the good vibes that have been spreading like wildfire during World Clan open mats in Los Angeles, Texas, Philly, Miami, and San Diego, it is no surprise that spots fill up fast and furiously when the next World Clan is announced.
Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending the latest World Clan open mat in Seattle hosted by James “300” Foster at his academy in Kent, Washington. The timing of the event couldn’t have been any better, as many of us were flying (or driving) there to attend a two-day seminar supporting Autism awareness that weekend. People came from as far as Connecticut, New York, Hawaii, North Carolina, Texas, California, and Oregon to attend, spanning over 30 affiliations. You could almost call it a “mini reunion” of some sort, as many of the people in attendance already knew each other from social media and it was just a matter of time when we would all meet in real life.
With over 100 of people (including 22 black belts) in attendance, there was no shortage of good rolls (or surprises) over the three hours of the event. Black belts James Foster, Todd Richards (Team Rhino BJJ), and Carlos Sievert (Gracie Barra Seattle) taught techniques from half guard that built upon each other. Special guests also popped up throughout the event, including 27 time world champion, Renato Laranja, and none other than the man behind the brand, Bear Quitugua.
As if it couldn’t get any better, it was announced that the sales from the World Clan shirts for the event would be donated to Autism Empowerment, an organization in Washington devoted to enriching and empowering the lives of children, teens, adults, and families within the Autism and Asperger communities.
If there is one thing that we can take away from World Clan is that jiu-jitsu brings people together. If you can forget about the politics and your own insecurities of training with people you don’t know outside of your own academy, you will have an amazing time. You will open yourself up to learning new techniques, expand your circle of friends, and most importantly, you will become inspired to be a better person than you were yesterday.
Thank you to Shoyoroll for having a vision to bring the jiu-jitsu community together to SHARE JIU-JITSU and spread good vibes.