Alpha Grappling League Season 1 - No Gi

Rico Hattingh giving Shaughn Vos his brown belt - Photo by Charl Pretorius

Known to rest of the world as the South African Beast, Shaughn Vos is a BJJ phenomenon! In every article I read about him, or article that he wrote, you could pick up two things about him. One, his good character and selfless personality and two, his love for the “Gentle Art” known to us as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or just Jiu Jitsu.

Vos is currently a brown belt and trains under Rico Hattingh, owner and head coach at RHMMA (Rico Hattingh Mixed Martial Arts) gym. Hattingh is also the former EFC Heavy Weight Champion and a Black Belt in BJJ.

One of Vos’s passions is to give back and what better way to than to combine your passion with you love. Vos has started a grappling league which will take place at ReddamHouse Constantia on Saturday the 27 June 2015. This sees the first season of Alpha - Grappling League and the start of an amazing BJJ journey in South Africa.

Hi Justin and all your readers!” – Shaughn Vos

Q. Tell us more about the Alpha – Grappling League. What does it entail?
Alpha Grappling is a Grappling and BJJ tournament series design to give competitors a fun team orientated experience and for spectators and fans to get a feel of what the BJJ lifestyle is all about.

Q. How did you come up with the idea to have a grappling event?
Rico Hattingh and I have been wanting to do an event for a while. We felt that there (a) weren't enough events around to motivate our students and (b) we wanted to create a tournament system that showed the best of BJJ in SA.

The Champions Challenge was also meant to try and coax the best guys to compete, because as the Bible verse says "Iron sharpens Iron". Just lately a few guys have been competing overseas, so if we ever want to win there, we must have strong home tournaments.

Q. I see this is a No GI event. Please explain the difference between GI and No GI.
GI is the traditional outfit worn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu events. This promotes a technically sound base in fundamentals and also opens up many more techniques and submission holds using the GI. (Readers - search up Berimbolo)
No GI is training or competing without the GI on. So usually competitors wear MMA shorts and a rash guard designating their belt colour. Some tournaments allow competitors to go shirt less too. No GI competitions are usually a lot more athletic, and promote a different kind of technicality - where things like guard retention is extremely difficult. (Readers - search up ADCC 2013highlights, you will be amazed!)

Q. Who are some of the other contributors around this event other than yourself?
Well Rico and I are 50/50 into this thing. He likes the limelight even less than I do, so that's why you see my ugly mugg all over the web at the moment! Lol.

We also have a ton of people helping us on the day, whom I'd like to really thank for the effort!

And then our sponsors. Guys like Rahied from Exclusive Designs Custom Furniture. Duane from Battery Express Cape Town. REPS MMA, Crucifix Grappling and Infitus Jiu Jitsu all have helped out with sponsorship. What is amazing to me is that Gyms are sponsoring us - and that in itself is kind of what we are trying to create here.

Q. Who is the event open to? How does one sign up for it?
The event is open to anyone. Specifically the beginner and intermediate sections.

The champions challenge has one spot open.

If you would like to sign up, either hook us up on the website 
or enter at the weigh in or even on the day before 8.30 at the event.

Q. Who are some of the competitors that will be taking part in this event?
Well we have some beasts competing! Then of course the Grappling Specialists with so many names. I'll only mention the higher belts - Martino Da Silva and Jason Gregoriades. And some guys who have been training Jiu Jitsu since they were children, like Craig Lavin and Charl Brits.

All in all there are some special matches on there way!

Q. What is your vision for the Alpha – Grappling League?
Our vision for Alpha is to make it a Household name all over SA. We are just beginning, so after we have bared the teething pains, we want to include the entire country to make something special that can hopefully someday help produce some world class grapplers!

Q. Any final thoughts you would like to share regarding the event or just to the readers?
Guys if you aren’t in an academy find one and train. It will change your perspective on life. If you are then compete, it will help you take the next step on your journey - even if you don’t think you will like it, try it, it is something most people should experience as they grow toward being a better person.

But for now, come to the event and enjoy some epic matches! Oh and we have the best burgers around there.... so if anything come for a burger! lol

 Wow! So there you have it! BJJ develops good character…it’s no wonder all the BJJ people I have ever met are so extremely nice! J But don’t let this fool you! These guys will submit you and make you tap like your life depends on it.

Come and support the BJJ competitors and the Alpha - Grappling League. Help them expand and grow BJJ in South Africa.

See you there!!!

Article by : Justin Smith


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