BJJ Bucket List: Competing at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach

For the ‘Average Joe’ playing adult flag football, there is a slim to none chance he will ever get a chance to score a touchdown in Lambeau Field. The average beer league softball player will never get an at bat at Fenway Park. What makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu such an amazing participation sport is that anybody can compete in the sport’s top venue, The Walter Pyramid in Long Beach California,

The Walter Pyramid, located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach University, is the premier Brazilian Jiu Jitsu venue in North American. It has been the home of the IBJJF World Championships since 2007 and has also hosted the 2005 ADCC Championships, the IBJJF World NoGi Championships, the IBJJF Long Beach Open, and the NABJJF/SBJJF World Championships. The unique venue is one of three pyramid structures in the United States, along with the Bass Pro Shop Super Store Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee and the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.


While most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments in the United States are held in cramped high school or college gymnasiums, the Pyramid is an 18 story tall, spacious 4,200 seat venue with great sight lines where you can see all 10 mats from your seat. The Pyramid’s architecture creates a cavernous feel with the high pointed ceiling. The setup of the mats also allows spectators to get really close to the action, unlike the UCI Bren Events Center where the Pans are held.

Close up match

If you compete at the Pyramid in a major tournament, there is a good chance you will see well known coaches/competitors like Cobrinha, the Mendes Brothers, Ribeiro Brothers, and numerous members of the Gracie Clan eating an Acai Bowl or running from mat to mat to coach their competitors or support their teammates. One of these high profile coaches could be coaching one of your opponents in your bracket as well. There is also a chance that a multiple time Black Belt World Champion could be competing on the mat next to you at the same time you are scheduled to compete. With the quality of the tournaments held at the Pyramid, the competition is tough and it is common for competitors to travel from all over the world to compete in the tournaments held in the venue.

If competing at the Walter Pyramid is on your 2015 bucket list, here is a list of tournaments that are regularly held at the venue on an annual basis

  • IBJJF World Championships – Late May, Early June
  • IBJJF Masters World Championships – Fall (Moved to Las Vegas for 2015)
  • NABJJF/SBJJF World Championships – November
  • IBJJF Long Beach BJJ Pro – December

Is competing at the Walter Pyramid on your Jiu Jitsu Bucket List or have you already crossed it off the list?


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