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BJJ KIDS GETTING FREE RIDE

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By Patrick Lujan

Marcos Oliveira lifts Jon Tuck in victory at UFC Macao last November. Oliveira has worked to get the country of Abu Dhabi to pay for five BJJ kids to participate in the world cup for kids. (courtesy photo)

Marcos Oliveira lifts Jon Tuck in victory at UFC Macao last November. Oliveira has worked to get the country of Abu Dhabi to pay for five BJJ kids to participate in the world cup for kids. (courtesy photo)

Five of Guam’s best young practitioners of  jiu-jitsu will get a chance of a lifetime this April when the Shiekh of Abu Dhabi will pay for their participation in the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Cup for Kids on April 10th.

That’s right. An all-expense paid experience to compete in a world event.

The five players are:

Billy Gene Larrison (16) Vida BJJ

Jonah Whitt (16) Gracie Barra

Jonah Carbullido (16) Purebred

Eddie Muna (15) Carlson Gracie, Jr.

Ray Jon Umadhay (15) Purebred

Coach John Calvo

The mastermind behind this exciting project is Brazilian Marcos Oliveira, who is no stranger to Guam. Oliveira first came to Guam in 2007 and is best known as the most instrumental BJJ coach of local star Jon Tuck. He was seen lifting Tuck on his shoulders after the big win at UFC Macao last November.

Guam has always been on his mind and now he’s worked hard to have Guam’s young players represent the island at the world stage – for free!

“I work in Abu Dhabi teaching jiu-jitsu,” Oliveira said while on island presenting this opportunity to the island’s top BJJ camps. “I was able to have the organizers of this event to sponsor five kids and one coach from Guam to compete. It will be Team Guam, no camp logos or anything, just Guam.”

Oliveira, a 2009 BJJ black belt world champion, was instrumental in the success of Tuck’s path to the Abu Dhabi blue belt world championship in 2010.

Oliveira has won numerous BJJ black belt titles and hopes one of Guam's young players will do the same. (courtesy photo)

Oliveira has won numerous BJJ black belt titles and hopes one of Guam’s young players will do the same. (courtesy photo)

“There’s so many good jiu-jitsu players here on Guam,” said Oliveira, who is also a black belt in judo since 1995. “This island has so much heart. I just want to help the young kids gain more experience and what a better way than the world championships. I’m sure one of these kids will follow in the footsteps of Jon Tuck and become a world champion at whatever belt level.”

Oliveira left the selection up to the head coaches of each camp from ages 10-17. Those selected will start training together soon in preparation for the April competition.

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