It has been a great week at The Lab, as four long-time students got their well deserved promotions to purple belt. On Monday night, Vivian Freitas and Brian Weinbrandt were promoted at the 7pm class. Then, in the Wednesday 9am class, it was Tony Nolan and Alex Mendez’ turn. It is such a great moment when you get your purple belt, a long tough wait, but one that is so very satisfying when you get there. We want to thank these students for their hard work and dedication, you are role models for us all. Congratulations guys, big things ahead for you all!
Top Row: (l to r) Chris Zubrycki, Michael Benjamin, Luis Ordonez, Jonathan Hill, Chad Wilson, Scott Boehler, James Strang
Bottom Row: (l to r) Jared Doctolero, Renato Freitas, Vivian Freitas, John Crouch, Brian Weinbrandt, Benson Henderson, Joe Gemma
Alex Mendez and Tony Nolan
On April 20, in San Jose, CA, Benson Henderson tied BJ Penn’s record for most lightweight title defenses in the UFC. As if that weren’t enough, he then dropped to one knee and proposed to his long time girlfriend Maria Magana. Maria happily accepted, and then the Champ’s night was complete.
Congratulations Champ, we are so proud to be associated with you and all that you do. Thank you for always putting yourself out there and giving everything that you have. Congratulations, too, on your engagement, we wish you and Maria the very best and know that you are going to have a wonderful future together. Way to go Benson…
Congratulations to Michael De La Torre and Haydar Baquir on earning their blue belts this week at the MMA Lab.
Haydar has been training for a couple of years at the Lab, and has put in some serious effort into achieving his blue belt.
Michael just moved to AZ from California, and is a professional fighter with a 10-3 record. It was time for him to stop ambushing people with his white belt on!
So happy to have both of these young men as part of our team, looking forward to many more great things. Good job guys!
Michael De La Torre
Congratulations to Eric Hallier, the newest purple belt in the JCBJJ family! Eric came to the MMA Lab about 6 months ago and has been a great addition to our team. This purple belt was a little bit overdue, but now it’s here! We are very happy and proud to have Eric on our team and are looking forward to great things in the future. Congratulations Eric!
This weekend 10 members of the JCBJJ Competition Team traveled to Irvine, CA to compete in the Pan Jiu Jitsu Championships. The guys did a great job, bringing home 2 golds, a silver and a bronze at this prestigious tournament. We are all so proud of our teammates and the great sportsmanship they always exhibit in victory or defeat. Congratulations and thank you!
Renato Freitas wins gold in his Brown Belt division
Mike Martin wins gold in his Purple Belt division.
Brian Weinbrandt wins the silver in his Blue Belt division.
Chris Zubrycki wins the bronze in his Purple Belt division.
Congratulations to Chris Zubrycki for winning the AZBJJF MVP for the 2012 competition season. Chris has been at the MMA Lab since it’s opening, and is an integral part of the team that we have created there. Chris started by running our Kid’s BJJ program that, while under his charge, was the top rated youth program in Arizona for two years in a row. He now teaches adult classes and helps with the Elite Fight Team; both training with them and running the team’s video program. Chris has been dedicated to improving our school since it’s inception, and it is great to see him get recognized for all his hard work and dedication. Congratulations Chris, we are very proud to have you on our team!
Maria Magana went to Texas this weekend and came home with a gold medal! Maria, who was promoted to purple belt just a few weeks ago, competed at the IBJJF Houston Open and took home first place in her division. Maria is planning on a busy competition season, competing this year in Houston, Sacramento, Phoenix and finishing up with the Pan Ams in March. We are so proud of her and her awesome efforts in the gym, and know that this is just the beginning for her. Congratulations Maria!