The IBJJF Kids Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships is the premier youth BJJ tournament and an amazing opportunity to witness the future of jiu-jitsu. Here are the biggest takeaways from this past Saturday's tournament in Long Beach, California.
New Stars Are On The Way
Few juvenile athletes receive the hype and anticipation of that of the Ruotolo brothers. But at Kids Pans, a new name entered the fray: Dominic Meija from Gracie Barra. In a tightly contested final that came down to a referee's decision, Meijia beat Tye Ruotolo and proved that he has the skills to hang with even the most elite BJJ players in this age bracket.
Dominic Mejia vs. Tye Ruotolo – 2018 Kids Pans
Savage Yellow Belts
A massive takeaway from Kids Pans is seeing just how skilled some of these young competitors really are at their ages. There were yellow belts with complete games: great passing, guard work, submissions, and takedowns. It’s an exciting time for jiu-jitsu in which the entire playing field is upping its game. We were seriously blown away and remain eager to watch the game continue to evolve.
Atos Is King, But Far From Unchallenged
Atos won its sixth Kids Pans team title on Sunday. It's obvious that one of the team's many goals is building an army for the future, and Atos is showing no signs of slowing down. However, other smaller teams are also putting forth excellent competitors and racking up big points with smaller squads.
Unity only brought 14 athletes and still earned an impressive 76 points, placing it inside of the top 10 teams at Kids Pans. Carlson Gracie brought 40 students and managed to claw its way to seventh overall. To put this in perceptive: the top three teams all had over 100 representatives.
Watch every match from 2018 Kids Pans here