Despite all that, we have some massive thank you's in order to a number of folks that helped make this weekend such a success. This includes our local team and guests from out of town that have given their time to support the Thailand Open.
Months prior to the event it was Niti Techottiasnee (EMAC), Bryan Garrison (BKKBJJ) and myself coming together to begin the prep work for this years tournament. While this may be our 4th tournament under the BJJAT banner and experience has taught us a lot, this was Bryan's first year onboard and he was given the heavy duty of registration and brackets. Chained to the bracket-table the entire weekend with only a few breaks to help coach teammates, this guy did a fantastic job. Accompanying Bryan at the brackets table was Minyoung Kim who did a great deal at last years event as well. Niti has been there from day one and is often the voice of sanity in times of stress and frustration. It's been a true pleasure working with these two gentlemen.
To the local team of volunteers that gave 110% this weekend, we'd like to thank Minyoung Kim, Chris Haja, Kris Sucharitaves, Christopher Goodrich, John Breedlove, Brian Jungwiwattanaporn, Eric Gerber, Ben Weinstein, Kaitlin Lewis, Chance Glasco, Jemima Wright, Peter Isaacson, Rick Nimo, Lee Fergeson, Takashi-san, Tomi Hashimoto, Shuhei Yamamato, Pat Aphaisuwan, Steve Rhodes, Steve Grimes, Ilya Reeves, Por Osk, Sarawud Kongkiattiwong, Atiwat Suvinijjit, Tony Hemsley, Ben Dixon, Arm Huvanandana, Dimitros Tsitos, Michael Galvin, Ben Finnegan, Lee Kirton, Anthony Hogan, Gary Manley...and more. I apologize if I've left you out, I'm sure more names will come to me and I will add them to the list.
And to the least enviable job this weekend, the referees. As head referee Stephen Kamphuis lead the team of Mark Simmerman, Adam Kayoom, Yonghee Kang, Thien Krua-Chottikul, Geordie Lavers-McBain, Sylvain, Andrew McDonald, Hoin Chung, Andy Wang, Richard Pernot and Pat Aphaisuwan. These guys had a very grueling weekend on their feet and at full attention. Our events can only get better by adhering to a unified set of rules and standards here in Southeast Asia. These gentlemen govern things according to the IBJJF rules, fair play and safety. Let's continue to be respectful as each one is doing their best for the sport.
On a special note we had two out-of-town guests that were especially helpful all weekend. Lee Li (Kylin BJJ) and Benjamin Liu (Singapore). Big thanks to the two of you.
And to our sponsors in attendance this weekend: Samitvej Hospital provided care all weekend and stayed late both days. Luckily the injuries were limited and nothing major.
The Monday following the tournament, the charity black-belt seminar was held at Q23 Academy. Thanks to Adam Kayoom for hosting and organizing this event and to all the participating black-belts; Dan Simmler, Stephen Kamphuis, Makoto Ogasawara, Marcos Escobar, Andy Wang, Rodrigo Caporal and Ray Elbe. The final count is still being worked on from the tournament fees but the seminar alone is stated to have brought in more than 30,000 baht in donations. Adding to our charity, Team Grips under Rodrigo Caporal brought in bags of food along with a cash donation at the tournament. Also giving cash donation, Lotus Club from Australia. We will be sure to have a follow-up post with the final tally for BJJAT's donation to flood relief in Thailand.
|photo by: Chinook|
|Members of Grips (HK) made a food and cash donation for the tournament's charity flood-relief for those suffering in Thailand due to record flooding.|