5/9/2022 By Danny O'Donnell
The San Diego International Open took place on Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th. The event was held at the Harry West Gymnasium and featured gi and no-gi divisions. Southern California is a hotbed of jiu-jitsu talent, and it was Atos Jiu-Jitsu that won the team title in the gi. Gold medals from Joao Mendes at featherweight, Erberth Santos at ultra-heavy, and Jhenifer Aquino at rooster weight helped propel the San Diego-based team to the top spot on the podium.
The standout gi competitor of the event was CheckMat’s Adam Wardzinski. Adam competed in the heavyweight and open class divisions where he had five fights and won them all by submission. “Today I was able to secure double gold and finish all my matches at San Diego Open by submission,” said Adam. “I had two collar chokes from the back, two arm triangles, and a monoplata. Currently I’m staying in California, training at CheckMat for Worlds and I wanted to take on additional challenges to keep my mind and body sharp and San Diego Open was a great opportunity for that.”
In the adult male rooster weight division, Thalison Soares of Art of Jiu-Jitsu defeated Osamah Almarwai of Atos. Thalison recently announced that he’d be doing his camp for the Worlds under Professor Guilherme Mendes at AOJ. Thalison commented on his performance, stating “I did connect a lot of guard passes and back takes. It felt good to get some competition experience before Worlds and keep improving to get there in my best version.”
Another AOJ representative, Johnatha Alves, won gold in the lightweight division. “I only had one match,” said Johnatha. “In the match I had, I was able to submit my opponent with a triangle initiated from a full mount.” He also commented on the upcoming World Championship. “I’ve been doing phenomenal work with my team at Art of Jiu Jitsu to display the best jiu-jitsu for my first Worlds at the Pyramid as a black belt.”
The no-gi divisions went down on Sunday May 8th and it was Vagner Rocha of Fights Sports who stood out among the black belt competitors. Vagner competed in the heavyweight division where he won gold after two matches with two submissions. In the open Vagner had three more matches and three more submissions, claiming his second gold medal of the day.
2022 San Diego International Open team results:
2022 San Diego International Open No-Gi team results: