While I am in the process of moving yet again, I wanted to take some time to spend with family just outside of San Antonio. And while the layover is taking a bit longer than expected, luckily a competition opportunity popped up to photograph another Grappling Industries event nearby. I made the drive out to the San Antonio Factory of Champions for another afternoon of jiu jitsu. I have been off the mats myself due to injury, so this was a pleasant treat to be back in the gym environment surrounded by fellow practitioners. In an ironic twist upon arrival, I recognized the signage that I laid out and printed at a previous employer and my first full-time design job. It's always cool seeing your work in the wild, this one was particularly cool given that it had been about ten years since we made these signs and they're still hanging strong.
On top of that cool twist, I was stoked af to see the inside--NO WOOD PANELED WALLS! They were all a neutral grey with great lighting throughout. Every GI event I have attended has been in gyms that have wood paneling everywhere making all the photos extremely yellow and warm. Yuck. The mats at FOC were mostly white with orange trim which was another blessing given that over half the competitors usually wear black and all the GI events I have attended previously were on black mats making photographs extremely difficult. It was like a smile from the gods.
I spent a few hours photographing the remaining gi matches and then the nogi matches that followed. I was pumped to see so many competitors really going for it and giving their all on the mats. I was extremely excited to see how fierce the female competition was too. Every women's match I watched was entertaining and most ended in subs. I walked away with some great images and may have picked up some pointers watching the fights. That is something I really enjoy about photographing jiu jitsu--I get to learn while I work. I snapped some sideline photos as well that I will get up here by next week. Take a look at the remaining images below and I will see you on the mats real soon.