True Believer Tribe Competes in Washington, D.C.

Students and coaches from True Believer Jiu Jitsu trekked to Washington, D.C., in early April to compete at the IBJJF Washington D.C. Spring International Open. Overall, 15 competitors from True Believer Jiu Jitsu traveled to the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex — returning to Pittsburgh with six total medals.

The tribe made the journey to compete at the IBJJF Washington D.C. Spring International Open, earning six total medals.

The tribe made the journey to compete at the IBJJF Washington D.C. Spring International Open, earning six total medals.

Purple-belt Rick Lipa dominated his division on his way to first place.

Purple-belt Rick Lipa dominated his division on his way to first place.

Highlights of the day included Rick Lipa’s masterful domination from the mount position, resulting in two high-scoring matches (14-0 and 11-0), with the latter culminating in a submission. Sydney Portis also stood out, finishing first after submitting both of her opponents without a single point scored against her. With her consistent training, willingness to learn and excellent performance that afternoon in mind, Coach Jacob Miclot promoted Sydney to blue belt while she stood atop the podium. 

For her dauntless efforts and consistent training, Sydney Portis earned her blue belt on the podium following her matches.

For her dauntless efforts and consistent training, Sydney Portis earned her blue belt on the podium following her matches.

The six medalists from True Believer Jiu Jitsu included:

  • Rick Lipa — First Place — Master 4, Male, Purple, Super-Heavy

  • Sewar Abunuwar — First Place — Master 1, Female, Blue, Super-Heavy

  • Allie Bolea — Second Place — Master 1, Female, Blue, Light

  • David Armbrecht — Third Place — Master 1, Male, Blue, Middle

  • Sydney Portis — First Place — Master 1, Female, White, Middle

  • Sam Civitate — Third Place — Master 1, Female, White, Super-Heavy

Overall, GFTeam took second place at the IBJJF Washington D.C. Spring International Open, earning 212 medals with only 46 competitors from across several academies. Prior to this competition, True Believer Jiu Jitsu students visited Cincinnati to compete at another IBJJF International Open.

True Believer blue belt and tenacious competitor David Armbrecht earned third place in his division.

True Believer blue belt and tenacious competitor David Armbrecht earned third place in his division.

Sewar Abunuwar (left) earned first place in her division, and Allie Bolea (right) earned second place, following hard-fought rounds.

Sewar Abunuwar (left) earned first place in her division, and Allie Bolea (right) earned second place, following hard-fought rounds.

Following the tournament, Coaches Jacob Miclot and Aaron Hannan, along with student Chris Chaturvedi, visited GFTeam affiliate WDC BJJ in Washington, D.C., to teach a no-gi class. Founded by Instructor Deivid Dias, a GFTeam purple belt under Professor Ataide Rafael, the school’s atmosphere was incredibly welcoming, and the students were excited and eager to learn. After such a positive experience training with them, we highly recommend checking out WDC BJJ next time you’re in the area. 

We are grateful for the hospitality shown to us by Instructor Deivid Dias and his students at WDC BJJ.

We are grateful for the hospitality shown to us by Instructor Deivid Dias and his students at WDC BJJ.

True Believer teammates Sydney Portis and Sam Civitate celebrate following both of their outstanding performances.

True Believer teammates Sydney Portis and Sam Civitate celebrate following both of their outstanding performances.