Teesunami’s Takeaways: A review of the 2019 Mundials

Another Worlds has come and gone. The largest, most exhilarating annual event for Jiu Jitsu practitioners around the globe. For the fifth straight year I’ve been fortunate enough to make it out to the Long Beach for the tournament (I’m from NY). During World’s week, the energy is electric in the entire city of Long Beach. Wherever you go (restaurants, grocery stores, the beach etc), you will see hordes of Jiu Jitsu practitioners from all across the world.

I’m a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt, and I’m honestly a crazy fanatic about Jiu Jitsu. As a spectator, the Worlds is my Super Bowl. It’s a week long extravaganza where, at every belt level you can witness the latest trends in games, style development amongst practitioners, strategies for victory and more importantly you get to see the rise of the future generation at ‘The Pyramid’. As Marcus ‘Buchecha’ recently said “The Pyramid is the place that makes you humble.”

I recently made a post on r/bjj with some of my takeaways from the 2019 IBJJF World Championship. So without further ado, heres an extended version of my takeaways.

At the Colored Belts

  • A lot of Darce chokes. I was honestly surprised to witness first hand the amount of Darces being hit in men and women’s divisions alike. Notable colored belts hitting the Darce: The Ruotolo Twins Tye and Kade.
  • A lot of Single Leg X guard being displayed effectively. As a self proclaimed SLX aficionado, I was happy to see this. Notable Athlete: Enderson Dias who won the Blue Belt MW division and took silver in Absolute
  • A recurring theme from the past few Worlds has been the growing number of closed guard players, I would say this trend continued this year.
  • Standup, there was some great stand up being displayed in the color belts. I’m not anti-guard pulling at all because it’s definitely an effective strategy but it was very pleasant to see the level of competence in takedowns.
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Your 2019 male black belt world champions. ????

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Black Belts

  • I have to say that one of the biggest takeaways for myself in observing the black belts was the use of 50/50. The majority of semis and finals match ups had frequent displays of 50/50.
  • The refs aggressive stall calling was fun, it definitely affected the match pace between Queixinho and Matheus Gabriel. In the Lightweight Blackbelt Quarter Finals we saw the double DQ of Levi Jones-Leary and Leon Taffa due to inactivity. Jones-Leary was picked by many to be a favorite in the finals, already holding a win over this years winner Lucas Lepri.
  • The amount of Kids, and I mean like under 15 that were in the crowd, going up to athletes and taking pictures. Made me feel good. Also, I had 2 kids behind me during finals and they were speaking strategy together like ‘I think he should pull and come up on top for the advantage’ blew my damn mind!

Notable Athletes

  • Isaque Bahiense, this is likely a no brainer for many of you…but he’s so damn strategic, and it impressed me.
  • Matheus Gabriel, the kid is a stud. He has some of the best base I’ve ever seen. His final 3 matches were against Grippo, Queixeinho and Andre. I was incredibly impressed with his performance.
  • Lucas Valente, man- I shared the podium with him at No Gi Brown Belt Pans And too see him in the finals against Lepri and 4 years later was incredible. He had a hell of a run and he may have the best guard retention at LW.
  • Marcelo Garcia Team- Diniz and Tinoco had some great matches. Diniz was so close to passing and taking Pregiuça’s back. Tinoco was close to beating Arges. Additionally, the new addition of Vinicius Ferreira to MG’s team continues to have great success. The headbutt to Lo was a little much, but the dude is a savage.
  • Mikey Musumeci- ‘Nuff said
  • Lepri’s 6th Title, Felipe Pena and Gabriel Arges- dominate teammates.
  • Ana Carolina Vieira, Claudia Doval and Nathiely De Jesus all winning their 3rd consecutive World titles.
  • Mayssa Bastos winning her first World Title at Blackbelt in the Gi, beating Rikako Yuasa who was the Champ for the past 4 yrs straight.

What I didn’t like

  • The amount of closeouts. Just roll! Most of these guys/gals train together regularly in the gym, so just go out there and roll!
  • The drama that went down during the women’s match that looked like it was about to incite a riot. For many reasons, this left me salty. It sends a bad message to all the kids watching and it takes away from the girls who are in the finals.
  • Keenan getting the ‘L’ to Lo, I just feel the refs have it out for him. That he’s already starting with a disadvantage. It’s up to interpretation as to who won, many people feel Lo did enough, but in general I feel Keenan is always fighting not just his opponents but the referees as well.
  • Bruno Malfacine’s poor sportsmanship (which he apologized for after on Instagram). As someone pointed out in a comment on the reddit thread, the poor sportsmanship is usually because the loser, in this case Malfacine, is experiencing a set back at the final level on the biggest stage and Mikey, who’s clearly ecstatic wants to hug it out instantly…For a lot of competitors, they’re not in a jolly mood in the immediate moments after a big match and aren’t ready to celebrate with the person who beat them. I was glad Bruno went online to clarify and apologize.
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???????? Só para esclarecer, o que aconteceu no final da minha luta não teve nada a ver com a competição. Mikey fez o que precisava fazer para ganhar e meu problema não estava relacionado a luta. Apenas permiti que os problemas particulares que estavam rolando nos bastidores antes do campeonato entre nós chegassem ao tatame. Eu apertei sim a mão dele antes de sair do tatame e nós concordamos em conversar após o campeonato. São assuntos pessoais e eu e Mikey iremos conversar em particular. Eu espero mais de mim e apenas deixei as emoções me controlarem naquele momento e eu me desculpo pela péssima atitude. ???????? To clear the air, what happened at the end of the match had nothing to do with the competition. Mikey did what he needed to do on the mat and my issue was not match related. I allowed the very private issues before the tournament between Mikey and I to follow us onto the mat. I did shake Mikes hand on the mat and we both agreed to discuss our issues later. These issues are very personal and for Mike and I to discuss privately. I expect better of myself and let my emotions get the better of me and for that I am sorry.

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TeeSunami is online alias of NY based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt, Mike Palladino. Follow him on Instagram: @MikePalladinoBJJ or message him on reddit at /u/TeeSunami