Tom DeBlass has been the organizer for the ADCC East Coast Trials across multiple editions and over several years now and it’s just been confirmed that he will be leaving the role after completing the most recent edition of the event in 2023. DeBlass has been involved with ADCC at some level for well over a decade now, ever since he first won ADCC Trials himself back in 2009. He returned to win ADCC Trials another two times in 2014 and 2016, becoming one of a small handful of competitors to win Trials on three different occasions.
Eventually Tom DeBlass moved off the mats to take up an organizational role for ADCC instead, and he’s been an important figure in the promotion’s development in North America ever since. It’s no secret that the sport has undergone a huge amount of growth in recent years anyway, but the North American East Coast Trials has absolutely exploded in size. There used to be just a few hundred athletes competing but the last two editions have seen around a thousand grapplers and multiple divisions have had to actually close due to reaching the limit of 256 competitors.
Although some of that growth can be attributed to the general growth of the sport, it’s no secret that DeBlass and several other figures behind ADCC have been pivotal over the last few years. It’s sad to see him leave the role that he’s excelled in, but it’ll be interesting to see what he does with all that free time moving forward. DeBlass has built up a very successful gym and trained a number of high-level competitors, so it’s possible that he decides to put even more time into that. On the other hand, he’s clearly been working tirelessly to develop the ADCC Trials in North America and some extra time to rest would be well-deserved.
ADCC announced the news that Tom DeBlass would no longer be an organizer for the ADCC North American Trials in a recent post to their official Instagram account. ADCC head Mo Jassim commented on the post and gave more context around the move too:
“Me and Tom started organizing ADCC USA trials in 2017 together. I handled West Coast trials and he handled the East coast trials and when we started ADCC US trials was getting around 200 people total. Now the US trials are getting over 1,000 and 256 capped for a single division. Going to miss Tom doing the trials but he will 100% be involved with ADCC opens in the northeast area.”