USA Judo Partners with Fight to Win at the Colorado Open

Sept. 03, 2009, 12:34 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - The Colorado Open - a major Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling event - featured a new addition when a judo division was added to the tournament which was held on Saturday at the Auraria Event Center at Metropolitan State College in Denver.

"USA Judo sees a great opportunity in growing the sport of judo and the strength of our organization by partnering with ju-jitsu clubs from throughout the nation," said USA Judo CEO Jose H. Rodriguez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) "It makes absolute sense as both sports are similar and, just as we are working closely with USA Wrestling on the grappling side, we are working closely with ju-jitsu clubs and organizations as well."

The tournament included 429 competitors across all three categories, including 75 judo athletes who vied for $4,000 in cash prizes.

Olympian Ryan Reser and Veronica Graves, both from the USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center, competed and won $500 each in the men's and women's judo divisions. 

Reser also competed in the BJJ division while Graves competed in both the no-gi and BJJ divisions. 

"I would like to thank fellow judoka Seth Daniels for his effort to showcase judo alongside ju-jitsu at his events around the country," said USA Judo President Lance Nading (Denver, Colo.)  "It's promoters like Seth that have contributed to the recent explosion of ju-jitsu participation and awareness. I look forward to a long term mutually beneficial relationship with Seth and his organization."

The event included eight ju-jitsu and one judo mat and allowed nearly 1,000 spectators to watch both judo and ju-jitsu action simultaneously. 

"There was great energy from the combined competition and it looked very natural to have the two sports competed at in the same venue," said Jay Warwick (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Judo Special Projects Advisor and former U.S. Olympic Committee Director of Sports Partnerships.  

USA Judo will partner with On The Mat in September to play host to the OTM Nationals in conjunction with the U.S. Open Judo Championships in San Jose, Calif. at the San Jose Convention Center from Sept. 25-26.