CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The 1st Marine Division grappling team, The Others, took first place during the Commanding General’s Cup Grappling Tournament at the Paige Fieldhouse here, Oct. 29.
The event was the first grappling tournament of the year featuring active-duty Marines and Sailors in four-man teams from all over Camp Pendleton, testing their strength, wits and discipline.
“I believe practicing and drilling is the most important thing to focus on when grappling,” said Cpl. Benjamin Smith, a competitor with The Others. “If you’ve done something a thousand times, you need to do it 9,000 more times, and then 90,000 more times after that to succeed.”
Smith deliberately let his opponent take him down, only to work his way from half guard, to full guard, to a tight triangle choke on his opponent to win the championship.
Smith, alongside Petty Officer 2nd Class Sammuel J. Goodwin, Lance Cpl. Eric Tilton and Lance Cpl. Jonathan Quezada, proved themselves to be the best out of 80 participants and 20 teams.
“My last opponent was really tough and kept bringing the pressure, but I just stuck to my game,” said Goodwin. “I knew I had to sacrifice the takedown in order to either get a gogoplata or an arm triangle choke. In the end I didn’t submit him but I executed my techniques properly and got enough points to secure the win."
Competitors training from different gyms near the base fought against each other during the event. They showcased techniques from a wide range of styles, to include Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.
“I’ve been doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for two years now and the tournament was an opportunity for me to improve my skills and compete against guys with different backgrounds,” said Sgt. Daniel Molino, a Corporal’s Course Instructor and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. “I love the sport and I’m always looking to better my craft until I get that black belt.”
Each round lasted for two minutes and participants were granted points for their takedowns, transitions, positioning and submission attempts, with successful submissions earning them a victory.
“It always comes down to a battle of the minds,” said Molino. “It’s very relaxed and very technical, which is why you have 145-pound guys that can tap out 200-pound guys. You can’t be aggressive and muscle your way around. Grappling is a chess game on the mat.
For more information on future grappling and pankration tournaments on base and details on how to participate, please contact MCCS Intramural Sports Office at 760-763-0453.