There is a Revolution happening in the Pacific Northwest: A series of Jiu Jitsu and Submission Wrestling Tournaments presented by Liberty Events and Promotions, LLC With the popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi and No Gi competition, there is an organization based in the Pacific Northwest that has been promotion quality tournaments within the past three years. With a majority of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions scheduled for the western part of the United States happening in areas such as Southern California (Pan Ams, Worlds), or Las Vegas (Grapplers Quest or NAGA), a group of people decided that there was a need to produce top quality tournaments for those who could not afford to travel to areas outside of the Pacific Northwest to compete, or to provide an arena for those to test their skills and perfect their craft before heading out and competing in the larger tournaments.
Jeff Bourgeios, who actively competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is the leader and face of Liberty Events and Promotions, LLC. “I started training BJJ in 2002 with James Foster at Foster Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, who is a BJJ black belt under Juliano Prado. I am currently a purple belt and I have medaled in multiple local tournaments. The most prestigious medals I’ve won are silver and gold at the IBJJF Pan Ams. I’m also a certified IBJJF referee. I’ve competed in MMA and currently teach 2 MMA classes a week at Foster BJJ”, states Jeff when asked to give a quick rundown on his background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Jeff and his wife Gina started LEAP back in 2006 to help foster and grow the sport and competition of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. “We were helping people put on tournaments and saw the same mistakes being made repeatedly. I love to compete and we wanted to try and elevate the competition arena in the Northwest.”
Based on each event, the popularity of the Revolution Tournaments continues to grow, both with competitors as well as spectators. When asked, Jeff has stated that he is particular proud of what LEAP has been able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time.
“I feel we are becoming more successful with each event. I believe we have held the largest BJJ/Submission Wrestling event in the state of WA. We have seen great growth”, states Jeff. He goes on to say “Our first event in November 2006 had 49 competitors. Our most recent event (November 2008) had over 315 competitors. We had been averaging about 4-6 adult and a few kid/teen female competitors but the last event had 10 adult and 10 kid/teens females. We were very excited by those numbers. We are looking at increasing our venue size but need to make sure we go to a place that is the ‘right fit’ for what we do.”
Jeff also believes that as females continue to practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the number of female athletes who compete in the Revolution will increase. “We don’t expect them to continue to double event to event but steady growth is our goal. Part of the idea of competing is you are rolling with someone who isn’t familiar with your game so you can get a true feel for what is working for you. We want all competitors to have a bigger pool to pull from so it isn’t the same people at each event.”
Jeff goes on to say that some of the more notable females to participate in the Revolution events include Tara La Rosa, Liz Bader-Posener, and Miesha Tate. He also adds, “For coaches we’ve also had Cindy Hales and Lisa Ward at our events”.
When asked how the future looks for LEAP and the Revolution Tournaments, Jeff stated that “We are continuing to improve our events through fostering relationships with gyms and sponsors throughout the Pacific Northwest. We believe iron sharpens iron and we want those that want to test their abilities to have a great environment to do so.”
To learn more about Liberty Events and Promotions, visit their website at http://www.leapllc.com.