MARCH 08, 2021, Dallas, Texas. The grand finale (day 2) of the IBJJF Dallas Open set the scenery for the federation’s first-ever event where the heel-hook submission was allowed, an addition that also saw the end of knee-reaping. The new ruleset drove a few heel-hook specialists to the Dallas No-Gi Open, including Renzo Gracie Academy lineage grapplers Stanley Rosa and Oliver Taza as well as Fight Sports’ Aaron “Tex” Johnson.
The inclusion of heel-hooks and knee-reaping to the IBJJF rule-book debuted with the adult black belt division, a decision that had been creeping in by way of the sport’s fan base over the past 5 years. With the female adult black belt division offering a total of zero matches to watch, the task of hitting that historic first heel-hook was bestowed on the male categories, who made a field-day out of this new guideline by hitting 6 heel-hooks across all weight classes – 33% of all the tournament’s submissions – not bad for a first test.
STANLEY ROSA MAKES HISTORY
Stanley Rosa, of Bronx Martial Arts Academy (an affiliate of the Renzo Gracie team), did the honors, becoming the first athlete to submit via inside heel-hook in his win over Double Five’s Rodrigo Martins. Rosa would repeat the deed in the final against another D5 athlete – Pedro Henrique Rocha – this time with an outside heel-hook, becoming also the first even athlete to hit two HH subs in one IBJJF tournament.
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HEEL HOOK SQUAD IN DALLAS
On the heel-hooking hitlist, we also saw Oliver Taza (DDS), Rida Haisam (Detroit Jiu-Jitsu Academy) reaping the rewards of the rule. Both had a tremendous afternoon on the mats, stacking 3-subs out of 4 match wins – in Taza’s case – and 2 subs out of 2 wins (Haisam). Priorly linked with team Carpe Diem in Japan, the African grappler, Rida, was on fire in Dallas, pushing the pace in all his matches and only falling short to Tex Johnson. A heated match lost to via advantages.
DETROIT ACADEMY ON THE RISE
We had mentioned Rida Haisam as one of the most dynamic athletes on the mats this weekend. His impressive form was only rivaled in entertainment value by that of Haisam’s teammate at the Detroit Jiu-Jitsu Academy, David Garmo. Well-known in the no-gi circuit, Garmo looked tremendous in the absolute division taking a silver medal after a 100% submission run, up to the final.
Garmo took out the always-game Yuri Santos, Orlando Castillo, and Jackson Douglas (two guillotines and one RNC), losing to Tex in the final.
TEX WINS IN TEXAS
You couldn’t have had a more fitting ending for the Texas Open. Although born in Ohio, Aaron Johnson spent a big chunk of his life in the Lone Star State which earned his “Tex” nickname. His return was nothing short of exciting. Tex ran through the ultra-heavyweight division with two matches, going on to continue his dominance in the open weight, submitting David Garmo in the final via kneebar – a scary one at that. Huge performance for Johnson.
#1. Richar Nogueira (Rodrigo Pinheiro)
#2. Orlando Castillo (Fight Sports)
#1. Stanley Rosa (Bronx Academy/RGA)
#2. Pedro Rocha (Double Five)
#3. Rodrigo Martins (Double Five)
#3. Avery-Warren Brooks (BTT)
#1. Rafael Lovato Jr. (Lovato JJ)
#2. Yuri Santos (LEAD)
#3. Charles McGuire (ATT)
#1. Rida Haisam (Detroit JJA)
#2. Patrick Goncalves (Kimura)