Best Crowd we've ever had...
The vibe and energy at the 5th Beast of the East event was quite possibly the single best feeling I've ever had during an event - it showed how passionate we are for the sport we love. Wait until you see the crowd video, it was Gladiator-style with the 2nd level during the superfights and hear the crowd roar, it was ELECTRIC!!
Growing pains are common with new sports, but it was a helpless feeling for us when myself and Cristina "Midget Twister" Rodriguez were circling around the rings are 10:30 PM (my estimated event completion time) came and went and each ring had 2-3 brackets left, it wasn't a very good feeling, because I knew we were running way too late. I'm a perfectionist and stuff like that really bothers me. I'm 100% confident delays will be solved moving forward, but once again, we simply outgrew another facility and the quest to find the next great venue begins.
The event delays ranged 2-3 hours for the BJJ Divisions and it was unacceptable, but it caused by nothing more than the sheer size of the event and massive at-the-door competitor registration. I'm making a vow to the grappling community, we won't stop until we run events better than any wrestling or judo tournament in the world, we're on national television, huge national sponsors, largest cash prizes in the grappling world, help find the cure and treatments for Autism, get submission wrestling as an Olympic Exhibition Sport and one day, pass the torch to the grappling promoter of the future.
We had one of the best volunteer staffs ever and 100% of the people who were there showed up and worked their butts off for Grapplers Quest. Opportunities like this are available at GQ events worldwide - we need YOUR help to make our events possible. Here's an example of a simple post we put on our forum to create the ENTIRE team, go to: http://www.grapplersquest.com/forums/compete-free-march-20th-caldwell-ne.... Of course, our GQ Family was strong on March 20th including my amazing wife, Lucia (who also sang the national anthem), Hilda and my father, Paul, Cristina, Lou Hernandez, Cristina "Midget Twister" Rodriguez, our referee team, Johnny Cimino and our awards presentation team, Jamie and Tim from Gameness, all of our sponsors and everyone else involved in making this event possible.
Grapplers Quest will continue to foster and generate grappling featured events like the UFC Fan Expo, Mr. Olympia, Europa, and many more partners to come to help cross promote the sport of grappling at fitness and sports supershows worldwide, so we'll be able to offer competitors venue opportunities like the Orange County Convention Center at Europa Show of Champions in Orlando, Florida on April 16-17, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 28th-29th at UFC Fan Expo 2010, Tachi Palace in Lemoore, CA on July 9-11 and even Mr. Olympia in September at the Las Vegas Convention Center and even the first ever Canadian Grapplers Quest on Saturday, October 30th in London, Ontario!
One of my many mentors in life and business, Charles "Mask" Lewis always told us all to Believe in what we loved and give it everything you have - besides for his family and friends, Mask loved Mixed Martial Arts more than anything else in his life, I feel the same for myself and the sport of grappling and I've dedicated my life to it.
In MMA, ten years ago, people would immediately start booing when guys hit the ground, it was terrible for any grappler to listen to or be amongst in a live event. Fast forward to 2010, Mixed Martial Arts has exploded worldwide, grappling tournaments worldwide are drawing 1,500+ competitors over multiple days and proudly, more than 100 UFC Fighters have graced the Grapplers Quest mats and the "TUF Boomer" fan base is more educated than ever in the art of grappling. Training in the sport of grappling and sharing what you do with your friends and family has trickled down to the core MMA fan and now they are more educated than ever. This is just the beginning for the sport of Grappling...just wait and see what we have in store for 2010!