Before the great comedians of our time perform in sold out arenas, they cut their teeth in the small clubs where legends are formed like the Comedy Store or The Improv.
Unannounced and uploaded with little fanfare, that’s what watching the 10th Planet In-House Tournaments feel like.
The audience is small and the athletes aren’t quite household names. But these matches are amazing. And whereas so many other brands would have slapped a paywall over it (I’m looking at you FloGrappling), Eddie is posting them for free on his YouTube channel.
These tournaments are always amongst various 10th Planet gyms, sending their up-and-coming competitors to Los Angeles to qualify for EBI, CJJ, and Quintet pay-per-views. If you watch enough of them, you start to see the familiar faces of gym coaches from various 10th Planet academies around the country.
There is certainly competitive excellence in the matches, but it’s nice to take a break from the constant deluge of trash talking and school rivalries we often see nowadays. All of these competitors are from the same team, and you feel the camaraderie return when the matches are over.
The tournaments are shot with high-quality cameras and a modest production value. Matches themselves are filmed with hand cams that really make you feel like your sitting in the deep dark lair that is 10th Planet Headquarters. With its dark walls and low ceilings, it just feels like some sort of hidden fight club, with secret passwords and handshakes to get in.
The audience in these tournaments are not the typical beer drinking, “put’em in a body bag” type of fans. Just about every one of them knows jiu-jitsu and exactly what is unfolding in the matches.
What really makes the crowd so important is that they all have some sort of relationship with the competitors. Emotions and passions run high during these matches. But there is also this shared feeling the unifies everyone in the room. You feel it when there is a dramatic last second escape or reversal. These people lose there mind, and it’s not because their guy (or girl) is winning or losing. It’s because first and foremost, they love jiu-jitsu. And when they see it being performed in all it’s beauty, the side they’re rooting for becomes secondary.
The other great angle of these events is that you see Eddie and his team experimenting with new rule-sets on a smaller stage. You get the feeling that they are never quite done perfecting their format. In the latest stream, they use the Quintet format to allow several teams to compete at once. Eddie walks the athletes through the various rules prior to the start. He wonders allowed whether stalling is a legitimate tactic that should be allowed, and decides to ban heelhooks so his team can get better at knee bars. It’s all done with an attitude of experimentation. And since it’s Eddies gym and his athletes, he can do whatever he wants.
Look Into It.
Right now, all of the in house qualifiers are up for free on Eddie’s YouTube. They serve as great infomercials for upcoming EBI or Combat Jiu-Jitsu Tournaments, and also help educate viewers on the format. More than that, it’s just great jiu-jitsu to watch on your couch.