Two Enter & Two Win! Masters Worlds 2017

Published on September 21, 2017

If you sift through the endless results from this year’s IBJJF Masters World Championship you will find some interesting, but not surprising names among them. Two, relative newcomers to BJJ, from Conquest Academy in Millersville, MD attended the tournament, and two left as champions.

Blue belts, TR Fleming and Richard “Capt Rat” Jones, caused quite a buzz at the Academy when they dominated their divisions on August 24th 2017 at the World Master Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. Often referred to simply as “Worlds”, the tournament is known for fierce competitors and considered by most as the premier BJJ competition of he year. To win, means you are one of the best in the world at your weight, age and rank.

Fleming and Jones rolled into the competition as light-weight contenders. Both men are members of the elite Conquest Competition team, led by renowned Professor and 4th degree Black Belt Vicente Jr. As members of the team, they train on a daily basis with Conquest’s toughest competitors from all belt ranks. The daily push from such great training partners coupled with the routine instruction from Professor Vicente and Conquest’s eight other Black Belts gave both men the edge they needed to win.

Vicente Jr. recalls a conversation in which Rich expressed interest in wining Worlds as a blue belt:
“So I told him, ‘We’ll focus on getting your blue belt first’ so he did while staying busy competing in local tournaments. Much to his surprise, Rich had the honor of receiving his belt during Conquest’s seminar with legendary Professor Ricardo De La Riva. He remained disciplined, remembered his original goal and 3 weeks later won Worlds!”

Fleming also came to the table with the same competitive spirit and dedicated work ethic needed to win.
“TR got his blue belt last year and I still remember that right after his promotion I cornered him in the gym lobby and told him, ‘Hey! You should do Worlds!’ And his answer was, ‘ok.’”

A simple answer that sparked a fire…both in coach and student. According to Vicente, it was all he had to hear to know Fleming would train hard and persevere though any struggles along the way.

As expected the tournament lived up to its reputation. Both men had several tough matches against well trained and focused competitors. Their hard work paid off, and thankfully both men stood atop the podium at the end of the day. When asked how he felt about the wins, Vicente replied:

“These are two great students who worked hard and made their team really proud…not even a month later they competed again and helped the TEAM place second overall at the very first IBJJF Washington DC open, so yes, I’m a really proud instructor.”

Apparently, what happens in Vegas, gets to leave Vegas… with Gold medals. Fleming and Jones put in the work and now have major bragging rights. Their success serves as a great example to everyone that with hard work anyone can achieve any goal. Conquest can help makes those goals a reality…the first step is showing up.

-Megan Aird, Conquest Academy Staff Writer

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