The Hereford Open
Dave Coles is a familiar figure on the BJJ tournament scene. The Braulio Estima brown belt runs the Hereford Open BJJ Championships as well as assisting with a large number of other tournaments in the UK:
MEERKATSU: Hi Dave, tell me about your tournaments?
DAVE COLES: I run the Hereford Open BJJ Championships. Previously I organised Judo (BJA), Ju Jutsu Kumite, grappling and karate competitions.
MEERKATSU: How many have you organised?
DAVE COLES: Too many to count!!
MEERKATSU: Why do you organise the tournament and what do you gain out of this?
DAVE COLES: I get a real buzz out of organising the events and in the words of John "Hannibal" Smith: "I love it when a plan comes together."
Giving my own students as much competition experience as possible is a major motive. I have witnessed for too many years fighters travelling all over the country to compete, spending lots of money to do so and ending up hanging around all day and then losing their first fight. All events should use the repechage system to ensure all competitors get a minimum of two fights.
MEERKATSU: What are the hardest aspects to running an event?
DAVE COLES: There is nothing difficult about running an event if you have good organisational skills. But if I had to highlight a problem it would be finding enough referees for BJJ events and table staff who know what they are doing.
MEERKATSU: What do you think are the most important considerations when running a comp?
DAVE COLES: Remember the 7 P's - Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
DAVE COLES: The last event was about £2k
MEERKATSU: Do you make any money out of it?
DAVE COLES: Any profit goes back into the club, paying for competitors entry fees, hotel fees etc for other events, the money also keeps the training fees at the club down. We also invest any profit back into our events e.g. purchasing scoreboards, scales etc to further improve the quality of our events.
MEERKATSU: What makes your event in particular a good one to take part in?
DAVE COLES: We treat the competitors as our customers and aim to provide a service that is second to none. We use the repechage system to ensure that all competitors get a minimum of two fights, 75% of competitors get a minimum of three fights.
Due to our organisational skills we ensure (and guarantee) that the junior categories are completed and the medals presented by 1.30, and the same for the adults by 5.30pm.
If spectators are paying to watch we believe that they should be able to do so from the comfort of an elevated seat. We therefore provide bleacher seating for 200+ spectators. Providing a matted warm-up area is a basic requirement and we provide an area 9x9m.
We post the competitors list and the timeline online at least 5 days before the event. As with most events, some categories sometimes have to be combined. If a competitor is not happy with the bracket they are in we will give a refund.
So that the competitors have a reasonable idea of what is happening, we post hard copies of the brackets and a timeline on the day of the event.
Another guarantee of ours is that the results are posted online within 24 hours of the event. At our last event the final fight finished at 4.45, the full results were posted online by 5.00pm!
We have sponsorship from http://www.connectionrio.com/ http://www.black-eagle.co.uk/
and http://www.cagefilm.com/ who offer a variety of prizes to our competitors
For more information about the Hereford BJJ Open, check out the website: http://www.thecombatacademy.com/BJJComp.html
Coming next - Part Three: The U.M.A.