Paper Plate Awards
It's that time of year again. Belt promotions, Christmas parties, New Years Eve fireworks, gifts, eating, drinking, and of course our end of the year paper plate awards.
At the end of every year, we come together to recognize members of our awesome community for their hard work (and not so hard work), for their commitment to community, and for their other special qualities.
Insert drumroll please! Here are the 2017 Paper Plate Award winners
Swiss Army Knife Award - Awarded to the most invaluable member of our community - Chris Vu
Whether he is helping out in the gym, teaching, showing patience with noobs, making new people feel welcome, coaching at grappling tournaments, cornering fighters, or helping out at events, Chris is a leader in our community. He helps hold this place together!
Most Likely to Make you Laugh - Alexi Jeminez
They say humor is simply intelligence having fun. This girl is both extremely smart and light-hearted, which makes her instantly lovable. No matter what kind of mood you're in, she will put a smile on your face.
Lochness Monster Award - Awarded to the person least likely to be found on the mats - Denis Gonzalez
Everybody knows life can get hectic and get in the way of training. This is the award that says we miss you and your absence was noticeable to everyone.
Busy with work and buying his first house, Denis couldn't train as much as he would have liked, but he didn't quit. We know we'll see you on the mats more next year!
2 Cool for School Award - Awarded to the person least likely to break a sweat on the mats - Pedro Wong
Five rounds of grappling - no sweat. Literally.
But hey…..if you had Pedro’s good hair you wouldn’t want to mess it up either!
Cheese and Wine Award - Awarded to the biggest “whiner” in the gym - Jaime Cardenas
Jamie has successfully won this award three years in a row! He did have some stiffer competition this year, but in the end he was able to pull off the trifecta.
If something hurts, Jamie will let you know.
Long day at the office, you'll hear about it.
Someone going to hard, impossible not to know.
While we kid with Jaime a lot, this place wouldn't be the same without him. He's been training with us for years and is close to earning his brown belt in BJJ. He helps teach Muay Thai and BJJ and contributes so much to our team.
Honey Badger Award - Awarded to the smallest yet tough toughest grappler in the gym - Luke Chagas
Honey badger don’t care and neither does Luke. It doesn’t matter how big you are, he does not back down. Not just one of our toughest kids, but one of our toughest members.
Rookie of the Year - Victor Padilla
Victor literally had his first training with us during an open mat in the dark. Hurricane Irma came through and knocked out the power to the gym. That didn't stop Victor. He was dedicated and eager to get started. He hasn’t looked back since. He trains two hours a night almost every night. On top of that, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Bully of the Year Award - Mark Peace
They don't call him the “old man bully” for nothing. Through the course of the year there wasn’t a white or blue belt he didn’t smash. Man, woman (and probably child), he spared no one. Although he got a late run by Jim, he did enough to win his first Bully of the Year Award.
Bull in a China Shop Award - Awarded to the person who grapples like a bull in a china shop - Carlos Roman
Most beginners tend to rely on strength over technique. Carlos takes this to the extreme and uses "high energy" movements to escape positions lol. Make sure you have your mouth piece in when rolling with Carlos because every round is finals in the World Championship!
Punctuality Award - Awarded to the person who never shows up to class on time! - Rudolph Laleau
“Rudoph, why you always late?”
“Had to run some errands coach.”
Pretty much our whole 2017. Lol.
Most Improved - Akib Sirkhan
BJJ is one of the most difficult martial arts to learn, which makes this award so special. Akib has worked extremely hard over the past year to improve his game and it hasn't gone unnoticed. On top of that, he has grown immensely as a person and built up his confidence in and out of the gym. Way to go Akib!
Hardest Worker - Laura Kirkikis
One of the principles we value the most here is hard work. You can’t control a lot of things in life, but you can control how hard you work. The easiest way to separate yourself and achieve success in life is by outworking everyone around you. In a gym full of hard workers, athletes, and professional fighters, nobody out worked Laura this year.
Congratulations everyone... until next year!