Grapple champ returns home

Grappling fans in the Cayman Islands will get a chance to see a world class performer here soon.

Robert Schwartz, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt will be teaching a seminar at UCCI on 29 October. All the mixed martial artists and UFC lovers in Cayman are in for a special treat. Students will learn how to improve their ground skills. In Brazilian Jui Jitsu no striking is allowed. It was designed for smaller people to be able to defend themselves against bigger and stronger opponents. Students learn how to use leverage to submit their opponent without having to strike them. The goal is to make the other guy tap. This art is like playing chess, it is as much about mental focus as it is about physical technique.

Schwartz’s list of accomplishments are impressive. He is a multiple Grapplers quest champion, a Naga grappling champion many times over. The Abu Dhabi World East Coast trials champion and Pan –Am Champion. Schwartz is also a mixed martial arts trainer and coach for Strikeforce, CFA and Fight Time Promotions.

Organiser Bob Daigle said: “The following week we will be hosting the first ever grappling championships. Robert will act as the referee for the event. The ultimate goal in submission fighting is to submit your opponent. Competitors are awarded points for take downs, sweeps and grappling control.

“Fighters can win by points or by submission. If a submission technique is applied to their opponent and results in the other giving up the match is over. This is known as a gentle sport. A game of chess, always planning your next move.”

Schwarz grew up in Cayman and competed in Cayman’s first martial arts competition in 1987 at the Lions Centre. Daigle said: “It’s amazing that almost 24 years later Robert will help run the first grappling championships ever held in the Cayman Islands.”

Schwartz went to Triple C and trained under Daigle in Kenpo karate. After a few years of training he moved to Miami took up the art of Brazilian Jui Jitzu. The rest is history.

The tournament will be broken down by weight and experience. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top three competitors in each division. There will also be an absolute division. This is open to all weights and level of experience. This will determine Cayman’s best submission fighter. There will be a trophy awarded to the winner.

Cayman has had a number of fighters travel to grappling tournaments in the US and Canada and they’ve done extremely well. Now Cayman’s submission fighters will have a chance to compete in their own backyard.

Cayman’s Leif Ristimaki said: “I can’t wait to train with Robert on 29 October. The instructors that Robert has trained with are the direct lineage to the legendary Carlson Gracie. We know the quality of his teaching will be first rate. Also my teammates and I from Rogue Gym are really excited about competing in the grappling event on 5 November.”

Martial arts fighter Tim Coulson said: “I have been a competitor in boxing, MMA and karate over the past 20 years in Cayman. I see the upcoming grappling event as a new spark for combat sports here. I can’t wait to compete and look forward to more events being held in the Cayman Islands. I look forward to the re-growth of the interest and the fan base.”

Daigle added: “We would like to thank Cayman Airways for sponsoring Mr Schwartz’s ticket from Miami. Without their support this event would not be possible. We would also like to thank Travel Pros for their help with sponsoring the venue and the medals for the tournament.

“It’s great to see this kind of support from the business community. We have a number of young people from Cayman Brac that would love to take part in the seminar and the tournament. If there are any companies or individuals willing to donate some of their airlines miles to support the guys in the Brac please 
contact me.”

Anyone interested in taking part in this seminar or competing in this event should contact Bob Daigle at [email protected] or call 925-6946.

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