Arte Suave Manila 2019 Finishes Strong with 282 Competitors

ARTE SUAVE MANILA hosted 282 competitors from different teams on its fifth year! Held last October 19-20, 2019 in Commercenter Alabang, the first-of-its-kind competition and expo in PH once again united fighters, coaches, and martial arts enthusiasts for an exciting display of high-level jiu-jitsu. 


“Five years just flew by, and it’s amazing to see how much the event and the jiu-jitsu community as a whole grew over that time,” says Leslie Tagle-Dinglasan, AVP for Marketing of Commercenter Alabang. “We’re honoured that we are able to contribute to that growth.”

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“This year’s turnout was incredible,” shares Franco Rulloda, President of event producer Triumvirate Fighting and himself a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt. “It’s a huge leap from our 2017 record of 205 registered competitors, and we’re grateful that the jiu-jitsu community considers Arte Suave Manila a must-join and must-see event.”


Arte Suave Manila 2019 also welcomed to its mats the athletes of BJJ for the Deaf Youth PH, a pioneering program led by Annie Ramirez, one of the aces of the Philippine National Jiu-Jitsu Team. Her home team’s gym, John Baylon Clube de Jiu-Jitsu, is situated near the Philippine School for the Deaf, and the locally and internationally-decorated jiu-jiteira made it her mission to help differently-abled youth to win in life through BJJ. 

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Another exciting new addition to the event lineup is the Juvenile Gi Mixed-Gender Competition, which attracted 43 competitors across four age brackets. Age is nothing but a number for these competitors, all of whom displayed such intense and technical jiu-jitsu prowess despite their youth. 


“The energy during the Juvenile Competition was palpable,” quips Rulloda. “Parents and guardians were so involved in their kids’ progression as athletes, and that to us is an indication that jiu-jitsu is one of the sport that we can excel in, that can bring glory to the country.”

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In the first-ever Arte Suave Manila Grand Prix, Felix Chow of Gracie Humaita Australia dominated with submissions in three of his four matches — winning against some of the country’s top competitors like Marco Birch (Boracay MMA/Round 1 Gym), Dave Cruz (Atos), Luigi Jacinto (Deftac), Marvin Mariano (Checkmat), and Dhan Samson (Origins BJJ). 


As for the Superfights, which featured only No Gi bouts for this year, Born Bryan Aquino (Fabricio) and Reyson Obias (Deftac)’s match ended in a draw, while Godwin Langbayan (John Baylon Clube de Jiu-Jitsu) submitted Fidel Ballesteros (Deftac) via kimura.


“Our group’s vision has always been to help the local jiu-jitsu community grow,” adds Rulloda. “And we’re able to achieve that because we have partners who enable our group to deliver a high-level tournament experience for our athletes. We hope we can continue to count on their support as we continue to work towards making the Philippines a global BJJ dynamo.”

Arte Suave Manila 2019 is presented by Commercenter Alabang, and is co-presented by Petron Corporation. Ikiro and Hotel 10/10 Alabang are Major Sponsors, while Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and IPI Corporation are Minor Sponsors. Media Partners are: inquirer.net, INQPop, Manila For Kids, ClickTheCity.com, POWCast.net, Philippine Primer, Pop Life TV, and YuneOh.ph, WhenInManila.com, and PhilStar Sports.