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I’m going to make this quick, because I have another long post ready to go, but I wanted to get this out there. This weekend, my teammates and I went to the No-Gi Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship in New York City. This was my last big competition of the year, so I really wanted to finish the year right.

Happily, things went very well. I was able to win gold in my weight and take bronze in absolute. My finals match in weight was a close, tough one, but I’m actually happiest with my performance in absolute: I had three matches against very strong opponents, and was able to win two of them. I’d been concentrating on improving my showing in the open class — I’d gotten close to breaking through but hadn’t quite done so until this weekend.

Look for the smiley, nerdy little guy.

Look for the smiley, nerdy little guy.

My squad did great as well. My coach, Seth Shamp, and my teammate Kim Rice took double gold, and my fellow blue belt Sean McLaughlin won his weight class also. Jason Mask and Hameed Sanders shared a division and took silver and bronze, respectively.

I'm standing a stair up from Seth and he's still taller than me.

I’m standing a stair up from Seth and he’s still taller than me.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: my coach, Seth Shamp; Jake Whitfield; Roy Marsh; Vicente Junior, Samir Chantre, Quiexinho, Kail Bosque and everyone at BJJ Conquest, Super Dave Zennario, Brian Stuebner and everybody from the Pans camp; and especially every one of my training partners at TJJ Durham and TJJ Goldsboro NC.

AND NOW, AN ALMOST-FINAL REPORT ON THE CHARITY CHALLENGE

Quick recap for those who are new to the blog: I’m donating $10 for every match I win this year to the Women’s Debate Institute. But to encourage others to get involved, I asked people to vote on a second charity to benefit as well. I’ve told some folks this, but the winner of that vote was anti-cancer charity the George Pendergrass Foundation, which is run by the twin black belt instructors at PAMA, edging out other worthy causes like Reporters Without Borders, RAINN, the Wounded Warrior Project and Carolina Basset Hound Rescue.

A few gracious people offered to match my donations, meaning every win this year is worth $35 to charity so far. I think all the rewards  are ready to be handed out at this point, and I’ll be distributing a bottle of the rarest and best beer in the world, Westvleteren 12 to someone soon. Check out all the ways you can still get involved and help.

I plan on distributing the money at US Grappling’s next Pendergrass classic, and I’ll do a full wrap-up post then.

I won three matches this time around, adding to the total from before. Here’s where we’re at:

CHARITY PROJECT STATISTICS
Matches Won This Tournament: 3
Total Won For The Year: 16
Money Raised For Charity: $105
Total Raised So Far: $560

REWARDS UNLOCKED
One bottle Westvleteren 12
Custom Photoshops: 2
Private Lessons: 1

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