This year marked the fourth edition of the Thailand Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling Competition. The record turn-out of almost 300 competitors attests to the high quality and popularity of the BJJ Association of Thailand hosted event. There are equally high-caliber and prestigious tournaments in the Philippines, however the Thai Open can boast that it attracts the highest international participation. Teams traveled in from all over Asia: Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. From further abroad, competitors came representing Australia, and the USA.
Although it can be argued that BJJ is not a fun spectator sport for non-practitioners due to the technical nature of competition, this year's Thai Open proved to be extremely exciting. the blue belt and intermediate divisions were stacked with a huge number of competitors, and the purple belt ranks have grown exponentially in a few short years, making for some great bouts. On the no gi day, the tournament was honored to have special unannounced competitors arrive for the advanced division. John Olaf Einemo and Sergey Kharitonov from Golden Glory came from their training camp in Pattaya to compete.
I am very thankful for Bangkok BJJ and Golden Palace Hotel for accommodating my stay during the tournament so that I could assist and provide updates via the internet. If you haven't seen them already, Luke Chaya with BJJ-Asia has some fantastic photos posted from both the gi and no gi competitions. More photos and information can be found on the MMA in Asia Facebook page.