ALVAREZ JIU JITSU ARLINGTON TX 2012 IBJJF RIO OPEN MASTER SENIOR RESULTS - August 1, 2012
Thursday 7/26/12-Sunday 7/29/12, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the 2012 IBJJF Rio Open Master Senior tournament held at the Tijuca Tenis Clube. Teams and competitors flew in from all over the world to test their abilities against some Brazil’s best. Team Alvarez Jiu Jitsu Arlington TX 2012 Rio Open Master Senior results were outstanding! Team Alvarez sent a small team of four competitors from White to Black Belt down to Rio de Janeiro led by head instructor and 1st Degree Black Belt of Alvarez BJJ, Danny Alvarez, his daughter and 4 Stripe Blue Belt, Danielle Alvarez, Mr. Jordan Shepler, 2 Stripe Blue Belt and Natalia Shepler, 4 Stripe White Belt. All four competitors have been training for months with rigorous drills and rounds on the mat, upped their strength and conditioning programs, tightened up on thier diet and nutrition and mental preparation to help get them ready for their biggest test yet.
The biggest test and first opponent for Mr. Alvarez and Danielle was making their weight class as they both had to cut 10 pounds each by the time it was their turn to weigh in. With all the great foods Rio de Janiero had to offer all four competitors ate nothing but small healthy meals consisting of egg whites, lean meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and whey protein. For Mr. Alvarez and Danielle there was a lot of road work involved as they were already running 3 miles a day weeks prior to arriving in Brazil. They both had to pick it up to 6 miles a day with 3 miles in the morning and 3 miles in evening to help gradually bring their weight down and make weight. The end result of all the hard work, discipline and sacrifice was all worth it as all competitors brought home medals.
With Danielle Alvarez, having so many great victories the first half of the year, like taking Gold at the IBJJF Chicago and Houston Open then Double Gold at the IBJJF San Francisco and Dallas Open, she also had some major disappointments with missing weight at the Europeans in Lisbon, Portugal, only taking Bronze at the Pan Ams and losing in the first round at the Abu Dhabi Pro in Abu Dhabi. Danielle knew she her time at Blue Belt was coming to an end and had to make the Rio Open count. Danielle Alvarez had four matches, submitting all opponents without having a single point scored on her. As the referee raised her hand in victory in the final match, you could see the joy in her face knowing that she over came all the disappointments and was now this 2012 Rio Open Blue Belt Feather Weight Champion. Danielle was awarded her Purple Belt on the medal podium by instructor and father, Danny Alvarez along with his Instructor and Coach Mr. Bruno Bastos.
Ms. Natalia Shepler, just coming off of her victory at the 2012 Copa do Mundo and becoming World Champion at the White Belt Rooster division did again at the 2012 Rio Open. Natalia at 36 years old decided to do the Adult (18-29 yr old) division instead of the Masters division and took Gold again by submitting her first opponent with a Sleeve Choke and winning the finals by referee decision. Natalia’s work ethic is second to none as she trains twice daily, eats very healthy and is in great shape. Natalia also took Gold at the 2012 IBJJF New York and Dallas Open. Natalia also changed belts and received her Blue Belt on the medal podium by her instructor Danny Alvarez along with his coach Mr. Bruno Bastos.
Mr. Jordan Shepler had a great showing in his first match of the Rio Open by submitting his opponent by Arm Bar but came up short in second match by 2 Advantages. Mr. Shepler, obviously very disappointed that he could not make it further into the rounds to win or place did not leave Brazil empty handed as he took Silver at the 2012 Copa do Mundo just 2 weeks prior. Mr. Shepler, like his wife Natalia also trains twice a day, eats very healthy and is in great shape. He will be back at again to put in work at the 2012 IBJJF Las Vegas Open in just a few weeks.
Last but not least was head instructor of Alvarez Jiu Jitsu Arlington TX, Mr. Danny Alvarez taking home the Silver Medal after winning his first 3 matches and coming up short in the finals by points. Mr. Alvarez had some of his toughest fights ever as he was the only american competitor in the division. His second match of the day against an opponent from Garcie Barra was his hardest match of the day and took every ounce of will to win to pull out the victory. With just seconds left on the clock, down on advantages and was on the verge of getting his guard passed for 3 points, Mr. Alvarez was able to somehow get back to his feet and get a takedown to hold it for the win as time ran out. Mr. Alvarez could not believe it as he looked up the score board to see that he won by the 2 points then asked for help by the referee to help him to his feet as he was physically exhausted and could not get up. Mr. Alvarez, very disappointed and not happy after taking 2nd place because he came up short of his goal, knew that it was still a great accomplishment in itself. It’s so hard just to win 1 match let alone 3 and make it the finals at an event like the IBJJF Master Senior. After his 4 matches, Mr. Alvarez still was not done competing as he signed up for the Rio Open as well that started within an hour of his last match. Mr. Alvarez had to throw 2 hoodies back on with his running shoes and hit the pavement once again to cut more weight to make the 141 pound and under weight class for the second time of the day. His students and teammates Jordan and Caleb ran with him to keep him motivated as they knew Mr. Alvarez was already drainied and exhausted. After 20 minutes of running under the Brazilian sun, Mr. Alvarez went to locker room to change into a dry GI to see if he did enough to make weight. After checking his weight and just making it under the allowed weight, it was time for Mr. Alvarez to pull himself together to fight a 10 minute round. The beginning of the match started off great with Mr. Alvarez getting his go to de la Riva sweep to go up to 2 points on his opponent but then got swept right back shortly after to make the score 2-2. The rest of the match went with Mr. Alvarez playing and trying to sweep his opponent from his 1/2 guard but could not finish any of the attempts. The match went the full 10 minutes and ended with Mr. Alvarez coming up short by his opponent scoring a few Advantages from near passes. The day of competition for Mr. Alvarez was finally over and he could now relax, fully rehydrate and eat as much Acai as his stomach could handle.
It was a long and stressful weak of training, running, conditioning and competing for Team Alvarez but the end result was phenomonal. All competitors have something to be proud of but also know they have more work to do as soon as they get home to fix the holes in their game. Team Alvarez Jiu Jitsu Arlington TX looks to take more competitors in 2013 for another memorable trip of competition.
Click here for one of Natalia’s Rio Open matches:
Natalia Shepler’s Blue Belt Promotion:
Danielle Alvarez’s Finals Match:
Danielle Alvarez’s Purple Belt Promotion:
Mr. Alvarez’s Semi Final Match:
Mr. Alvarez on the Medal Podium: