College Versus College. Jiu Jitsu History.

5 min readMay 2, 2019

On April 27th, 2019 with the help of the Marquette University and Northern Illinois Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Clubs we made history and successfully launched the first ever Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (college versus college) team duel.

This event marks first of many collegiate jiu jitsu competitions as we continue to recruit new universities to participate in nationwide events and unite to create one common jiu jitsu league with one uniform rule set.

Grappling Hour Interview About How It All Started.

It all started after we hosted a jiu jitsu scrimmage at Marquette University in November of 2017.

It was at the 2017 event that I realized that by creating a national collegiate league for universities we were on to something different, unique, and ripe with opportunity for all parties involved ( kids, schools, sponsors, and the community). After that event I immediately begun interviewing a number of other collegiate team coaches to learn more about their thoughts on the style of play, point system, and rule set that we could use for this collegiate BJJ league. The consensus from the coaches was that we create a submission only style league that keeps the match play fast and aggressive with minimal stalling………and on April 27th, 2019 we used the input and hosted this first ever team duel.

Weight Classes:

The ultimate goal of these events is align weight classes with NCWA official weight classes, however with limited participation for this first event we were forced to modify to weight classes.

Modified Men’s Weight Classes For Event: 150 lbs and Below (Light), 151 lbs–185 lbs (Medium),185 lbs & Up (Heavy ,100 lbs and up (Open Class).

Point System:

A win by Submission (0:00–3:00 min): Six (6) team points.

A win by Submission (3:01–6:00 min): Five (5) team points.

A win by forfeit: Six (6) team points.

A win by default (injury) : Six (6) team points.

A win by disqualification: Six (6) team points.

A win in Overtime (one round EBI style): Three (3) team points.


Each match is 6 minutes and submission only. If neither fighter gets a submission in the 6 minute round then the match goes to overtime with one EBI overtime round (fastest submission, or fastest escape).

For this particular event both teams decided that there would be no attacks below the waist. There would be no slams, can-opener neck cranks, wrist locks, or bicep cutters. (*note, most participants are new to BJJ so we wanted to make the matches safe and fair.)


Marquette U Coach — Sheldon Garrison, Tyler Stolecki 150 lbs, Nathan Marquette 154 lbs, Kevin Kicmal 171 lbs, Miguel Marquez 172 lbs, Andrew Salinas 173 lbs, Matt Leonard 173 lbs, Emmanuel Echeverria 186 lbs, Nick Kallas 220 lbs.

Marquette U. Co-Coach Sheldon Garrison compares notes with NIU coach Kyle Munsayac at the BJJ Duel.

Northern Illinois U Coach — Kyle Munsayac, Kevin Pallikunnel 120 lbs, David Balrig 140 lbs, Ryan Lenartz 160 lbs, Danny Smith 165 lbs, Giovanni Esparza 200 lbs.

NIU Head Coach Kyle Munsayac looks on as his team battles Marquette.

Results :

Match # 1: (185 lbs. and up): Giovanni Esparza (200) (GI) — NIU VS Emmanuel Echeverria (186) (GI) — Marquette.

Giovanni Wins with Ezekiel Choke with 4:12 left in regular play.

Result — 6 Points NIU (Score: NIU 6 — Marquette 0).

Match #2: (151 lbs — 185 lbs):Ryan Lenartz (160) (Nogi) — NIU VS Andrew Salinas (173) (GI) — Marquette.

Ryan Wins by Arm Triangle with 4:45 left in regular play .

Result — 6 Points NIU (Score: NIU 12 — Marquette 0).

Match #3: (Open Weight): Danny Smith (165) (Nogi) — NIU VS Tyler Stolecki (150) (Nogi) — Marquette.

Danny Wins in overtime win RNC in 18 seconds.

Result — NIU 3 Points (Score: NIU 15 — Marquette 0).

Match #4: (Open Weight): Giovanni Esparza (200) (GI) — NIU VS Matt Leonard (173) (GI) — Marquette.

Matt Wins by Arm Bar with 5:01 left in regular play .

Result — Marquette 6 points (Score: NIU 15 — Marquette 6).

Match #5: (Open Weight):David Balrig (140) (Nogi) — NIU VS Nathan Marquette (154) (Nogi) — Marquette.

Nathan Wins by Arm Bar with 3:22 left in regular play .

Result — Marquette 6 points (Score: NIU 15 — Marquette 12).

Match #6: (151 -185 lbs): Ryan Lenartz (160) (Nogi) — NIU VS Miguel Marquez (172) (Nogi) — Marquette.

Ryan Wins by Triangle Choke with 4:50 left in regular play .

Result — NIU 6 points (Score: NIU 21 — Marquette 12).

Match #7: (Open Weight): Kevin Pallikunnel (120) (GI) — NIU VS Kevin Kicmal (171) (GI) — Marquette.

Kevin Kicmal Wins by Americana with 4:21 left in regular play .

Result — Marquette 6 Points (Score: NIU 21 — Marquette 18).

Match #8: (Open Weight): Danny Smith (165) (Nogi) — NIU VS Nick Kallas (220) (Nogi) — Marquette.

Nick Wins with Kimura with 3:17 left in regular play.

Result — Marquette 6 Points (Score: NIU 21 — Marquette 24).

Match #9: (Open Weight):David Balrig (140) (Nogi) — NIU VS Matt Leonard (173) — (Nogi) — Marquette.

Matt Wins with RFC with 5:39 left in regular play.

Result — Marquette 6 Points (Score: NIU 21 — Marquette 30).

Final Score —( NIU 21 — Marquette 30).

Future Events:

As of now the next steps are to continue to build the league by adding teams and schools to participate. If you are a coach or student looking to start a program at your school we have the tips and information to help you get started.

This collegiate league is opening a unique opportunity for corporate sponsors looking to enter (locally & globally) into the fastest growing sporting arena (mma, bjj, and combat sports)since the UFC.

Jiu Jitsu events pin-point a unique niche customer who are watching these events which create new global buying markets that many companies are looking to target (sports brands, health & food supplements, clothing lines, mma media markets, life insurance companies, beer manufactures, the list goes on).

Right now, advertising can be purchased at a discounted rate (pennies on the dollar) when you compare the cost of traditional media sources (television, billboards, radio, newspaper). If you own a business or brand contact me for more information on how you can get involved in helping launch this project.

Check out other articles I wrote about sponsorship in combat sports:




Bizjitsu is the art of fusing your purpose with your passions. I’m a Dad & BJJ Blackbelt & Coach. Stroke survivor. Connect with me at