Hi everyone, our Gracie Sydney members Craig Roberts (Sav), Owen Gee and Josh Mellas fought the Pan Pacific in Melbourne last weekend and did very well, well done!!! Please check the report bellow:

Friday the 16th of October 2009 saw the GSA team representatives assemble At Melbourne’s Albert Park. The buzz around the arena was noticible with matches underway and teams screaming support for their team mates. This years team of 3 was smaller than previous years with many of the GSA team, having family or other committments or opting to save their efforts for the upcoming ADCC trials. Despite this the team members were inundated with sms, phone calls & Facebook messages of support and well wishes.

Up first was Josh Melas who was competeing in one of the largest divisions of the day. After receiving a bye through the first round Josh won his first match convincingly showing good control in mount and maintaing pressure for the majority of the match and came very close to an arm bar finish. His next match was also close but unfortunately this time he did not come out on top. After a tough fight Josh still bought home a silver medal!

Owen Gee Kee was up next in the Brown Belt Open mens No Gi division and after a good back and forth fight, came away with a win by advantage (due to submission attempts) but was unable to make it through the semi-final, losing to the eventual Opens mens winner to a very tight arm triangle. Next for Owen was the Brown Belt Open Mens Gi division where he lost in the first round via armbar. In his 3rd division Brown Belt No Gi U67kgs there were no other competitors so he went up to the next division (u73kgs final). This was a very good fight with a game of cat and mouse coming out of a deep half guard passing opportunity where both competitors finally got into a scramble with Owen coming out on the worse end and losing his back before time ran out. In the last event in a very busy day Owen had the final of the U67kg Mens Brown Belt division. With both opponents being cautious and not wanting the mistake the referee intervened and asked them both for action, with more attempts at takedowns Owen took the advantage and took his opponent down. After looking for various submission attempts whilst maintaining control throughout, time eventually ran out and Owen won the gold with a score of 6-0. After a long day with a lot of matches Owen finished with one Gold for Gi at weight, Silver for no gi at weight and top 4 finish for Brown absolute no gi.

Next up was Craig Roberts who had less than perfect preparation rolling his ankle 2 days before the event. After serious consideration (and a sizeable amount of strapping tape) Craig made it onto the mat for the Purple belt Open Gi Final. The ankle injury was visibly playing on his mind and after a tense few minutes Craig secured a beautiful inside trip (ouchi gari). His opponent reacted quickly and managed to follow the momentum and disrupt craigs take down and rolled him over. After a quick scramble where Craigs mobility was tested his opponent secured a rough RNC. Next was the absolute Purple belt final where Craig fought very hard and was unlucky to not secure 2 arm drag takedowns which would have changed the course of the fight. The visible size difference was also starting to take its toll and Craig ran out of time but fought hard against a visibly larger opponent. In Craig’s 3rd event he won his first and moved onto the final of the no gi U73kgs final. After a close technical game of cat and mouse Craig was taken down and after a scramble he mamaged to turn this around and be ontop in his opponents half guard. Being held in the lockdown Craig worked hard to escape and advance his position but unfortunately time ran out. In Craigs next & final match for the Purple Open Gi division he started well and proved very hard to hold down but again time was not on his side and points were the deciding factor. Craigs tally for the day was 4 silver medals for each of the maximum events that you could enter. On picking up his haul of medals many competitors approached Craig to commend him on his result as well as the competeing with an injured ankle. His courage and tenacity to compete under duress was noticed by many competitors on all levels and was a great advertisment for all the GSA team stands for.

All in all it was a great couple of days, & the GSA team ended up 14th out of a possible 36 Mens teams who competed over the weekend. All this with only 3 competitors was a great result. So now, we look forward to next year, to take down a large; strong & united GSA team who will bring back a full trophy cabinet of medals and to compete for (and win) the Overall team medals as well.

  By Owen, Sav and Josh