UGF Presents the Sacramento Open May 28th, 2011

Inside BJJ
Tell us about the United Grappling Federation? How and why did you decide to start the UGF? Who is behind the UGF?

UGF
My wife and I, Lenna and Mike Uhlinger, are the founders and owners of the UGF. We are both Purple belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and have over 12 years Grappling and competition experience between us. We have competed in many tournaments, small and large, all over. Between the both of us, we competed in over 25 tournaments within the second half of last year alone. We are both very competitive and have a strong passion for competing. Training out of Sacramento (Northern California), we noticed that there is a lack of local tournaments available to us die hard competitors. We were always waiting for someone to put on high quality, local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling tournaments, but found that the other tournament providers did not come around often enough. So, we decided to do it ourselves!

Inside BJJ
What makes the UGF unique compared to other tournaments? Are there specific issues in existing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Grappling tournaments that you’re aiming to change? Specifically, how are you going to ensure this tournament runs on-time?

UGF
One thing that I feel makes us unique is that we will be offering different medals for both BJJ and Submission Grappling. Often, we would compete at tournaments winning both GI and No GI divisions, yet receive the same medal for each. We always thought it would be great to receive different medals for the different divisions; this would allow us to look back and be able to determine if our medal was for a Gi or No Gi win, even though it was at the same tournament.

I would say that the only issues we are aiming to change are to provide professional quality tournaments, more often to local competitors. We have never liked how our choice for competing has always been to either spend hundreds of dollars flying or driving to a major event, or to compete at a local tournament on old wrestling mats and receive a plastic medal with a sticker on it. Our goal is to bring top of the line tournaments to local areas.

One of our main focuses for running our events on time is to make them pre-registration only. While we could bring in a few extra competitors by allowing “day of” sign ups, it has been our experience that events which allow this are hardly ever ran on time.

The other thing we are going to do differently is make a detailed schedule showing “no earlier than” start times. We feel that a tournament running ahead of schedule is almost as bad as running behind schedule.

Our detailed schedule will include the mat number on which the different divisions and weight classes will be competing. Many competitors have family and friends who come to watch them. Most of the time you will see the competitor head to their match screaming,” MAT THREE!” to their family. Then, you will see the competitor’s family get up and run to find a new seat in the section that will provide them with the best view. Our detailed schedule will help to avoid this mayhem by allowing competitors to just tell their family, “I will be competing on Mat 2, no earlier than 2 o’clock.” This should make it more enjoyable for the competitors and spectators alike.

Inside BJJ
There are several other tournaments scheduled for the UGF. Is this a circuit? Will there be a method for tracking the results of each tournament? Will there be a circuit champion or team champion after all of the tournaments in a given year?

UGF
For 2011, we are just trying to get our name out there by hitting as many cities as possible on the West Coast. Yes, we will be keeping records of all tournament results; viewable on our website. At each event, we will award Team Champions for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Submission Grappling and Overall. There is no current plan to award an Overall Tournament Champion at the end of the year using past results.

Next year, 2012, will bring big plans. We are planning to implement a format similar to the Abu Dhabi Trials for the West Coast, with the winners of the absolute divisions from our out of state tournaments being awarded plane tickets to compete in the Western States Grappling Championship which will be held in Northern, CA.

Inside BJJ
The Sacramento Open is coming up on May 28th. Tell the readers about the tournament.

UGF
This will be our first event and we are really excited about it. Sacramento is where we train and we are happy to provide local competitors and friends with a high quality tournament to test their skills. We will be offering divisions for Youth, Juvenile, Adult, Womens, Masters, & Seniors for both Submission Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The tournament coincides with Memorial Day weekend giving competitors and their families a chance to enjoy a nice long weekend in the state capital of California. Sacramento is famous for it’s Memorial Day Parade and for the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee held in historic downtown Sacramento.

We have extended the early registration price for the Sacramento Spring Open until Monday, May 16th.

Inside BJJ
Will there be prize money paid to winners of the tournaments? If not now, is there a plan to eventually pay prize money?

UGF
Currently there will be no prize money offered; however, it is a possibility for the future. Our focus is to eventually provide live online streaming at all of our events. This will get our competitors a level of exposure which is not normally available to them from local tournaments.

Inside BJJ
Is there anything else you would like to mention about the UGF or upcoming tournaments?

UGF
The UGF has plans to host “Submission Only” tournaments on the West Coast. Currently, these events are only available to competitors on the East Coast, but we would like to change that.
Please visit our website www.unitedgrapplingfederation.com for upcoming events, tournament results, rules, weight classes, divisions, and general information. You can also check us out on facebook. “Like” our page for tournament updates and discussions. http://www.facebook.com/UnitedGrapplingFederation
We would love to hear any suggestions that you may have that will help us to improve. Please send your comments via email to info@unitedgrapplingfederation.com or give us a call. Also, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.
The UGF will be hosting the Bakersfield Open towards the end of June in Bakersfield, CA. Tournament details and information will be posted soon!

2 Responses to “UGF Presents the Sacramento Open May 28th, 2011”

  1. Danny says:

    How do I register my daughter & how much? That website unitedgrapplingfederation.com did not mention this Sacramento May 28th tournament. Thank you Danny

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