Thursday, March 03, 2016

A view recently surfaced that shows an instructor pulling one teen competitor off of another. The student in question is allegedly not his own, which would make the incident highly unusual.

The instructor is John Simons III, a highly-regarded BJJ black belt and combatives instructor. He founded Odyssey MMA a decade ago in King William, VA, and continues to run it to this day. Simmons also does security internationally in the music field.

Incident takes place on mat in background, at top left of screen.

Original video.

This is the text that accompanied the video. It is only one perspective on what happened, and is frankly a little odd in places.

If your kid is a member of Odyssey MMA in Virginia than get yourself a new gym and a new coach to look up to. If you’re looking for a gym DO NOT go to that gym. If you run a tournament BAN this gym from attending your tournaments.

Their coach (guy in the pic) jumped on a 13yr old kid (not on his team) and grabbed him in a choke hold and JERKED him off another kid while in a match.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTIFICATION FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT….NONE!! You don’t put your hands on a child but especially another persons child.

Also, this coach had been screaming and arguing and being rude throughout the day and had caused many problems. When he done this to the kid everyone reacted properly so the coach had a sissy fit and left the tournament which is exactly what needed to be done. Well actually a little more would had been acceptable if you catch my drift…… but luckily the other parents are good people with a level head.

I understand sometimes tensions run high during competition but to choke hold and jerk a CHILD is unexceptable on so many freaking levels!!!

The coach is obviously a hot head that doesn’t know how to handle himself in public. I wouldn’t want my kids looking up to him.

The guys name is John Simons III and he is with Odyssey MMA at 694 Sharon Rd. King William, Virginia.

We have asked Odyssey about the incident and they will not reply, or they delete our posts.

Simmons did in fact offer a public statement on what happened, on his academy site.

On February 27th Project X competitors travelled to Woodbridge, Virginia to participate in the 2016 Junior Grappling Competition.

During the event, I was coaching one of my 13 year old competitors in a no-gi match. It was an exciting match that went back and forth. At the time the match ended, my student was caught in a full rear naked choke. While some tournaments have time clocks with built in horns signifying the end of the match, this tournament did not. The end of the match was acknowledged by a knotted sock being thrown on the mat. Unfortunately during this particular match the young man executing the choke had no idea that time had run out, so he continued to apply the choke. My assumption like many others watching the match was that when the sock hit the mat, the referee would immediately stop the choke and end the match. This did not happen.

After reviewing the match on You Tube, it was about 6 seconds that elapsed between when the sock hit the mat and when the referee went back to stop the match. The 6 seconds felt like an eternity. I was overwhelmed by the lack of action by the referee, especially in this deep, devastating submission. I reacted instinctively and ran out and separated the two children as quickly as possible. No one wants to see a young competitor be choked unconscious. I was afraid of what could happen if the choke continued beyond someone just going unconscious and was very concerned for the safety of the competitor.

I realize with the 100 events and literally 1,000 of matches I have coached that intervening in a match is unacceptable however in this case, my instincts kicked in and I reacted to a situation that could have led to something much worse. Once I knew both children were all right, I immediately addressed the referee who was apologetic about the mishap. The promoter for the event was within feet of the action and told me he was about to jump in and break it up himself.

After the match, I spoke with the opposing youth competitor and coach and apologized for the situation at hand and told the competitor that it was obviously not his fault. I have always supported youth in grappling competitions in a safe environment and I felt that a real danger existed and reacted as a concerned father/coach would. It was a rare instance where a unique set of circumstances presented itself to where instinctively I reacted because I was very concerned about the safety of a competitor and to prevent further harm.

Thank you

John Simons III