The first Grapplers Quest I ever missed…
By Brian Cimins, CEO, Grapplers Quest

On Saturday, October 30th, Grapplers Quest became the first grappling organization in the World to run events in both United States and Canada. Together with the Ontario Grappling Alliance ( and sponsored by Fight Planet, Canada’s Premier Fight Shop (, Grapplers Quest hosted the 2010 Canadian National Grappling Championships in London, Ontario, Canada.

It was a LONG event summer in 2010, 7 events in 3.5 months, Europa, Mr. Olympia, UFC Fan Expo, U.S. Nationals….WOW…I wore myself (and my team) to the bone. Right after Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas (Sept. 25, 2010), I got a bad case of strep throat, 2 weeks later bronchitis and just never took care of it leading to Aspiration pneumonia.

Unfortunately, I was admitted to the hospital on Saturday, October 23rd from caused by Aspiration pneumonia (later diagnosed). I was alone at my house watching the UFC and I started experiencing severe shortness of breath. My wife, Lucia had finally had ONE weekend night to hang out with her girlfriends and I was supposed to watch my two children (Logan, 3 and Kaylee, 1) overnight and give Mommy a much deserved night off…until things turned for the worse.

I thought I was having a heart attack because I couldn’t breathe and I started blacking out. It was THE scariest night of my life. My wife called my parents, my Dad took me to the ER and the doctor immediately admitted me to the hospital for a 6-day intensive treatment to cure my illness. I hadn’t been sick before this bout in 3.5 years – I thought I was SUPERMAN!

Starting in 1998, I built Grapplers Quest from the ground up in college (listen to full story here:…) and always prided myself with working two jobs…my full-time job with Net2Phone which paid the bills and Grapplers Quest which was my burning passion in life. I would work on GQ during lunch breaks, come in early and leave late just to use the super fast T-1 line (I still had 28,800 on AOL…LOL). I even lied and said I smoked, so I could take fake smoke breaks (I never smoked) to respond to urgent GQ emails or phone calls to venues, etc. – I was running 200% then!

In early 2004, I went full-time for Grapplers Quest and I’ve worked nearly every waking hour since. I was a “proud workaholic”, but I’m here to tell you that working that hard and not taking care of yourself (or having balance in your life) can kill you, it nearly killed me. I was released from the hospital on Saturday, October 30th at 1:00 PM with a clean bill of health, just 7 more days of meds and I should be fine, Thank God!

I’d worked for months and the last 11 years to run an event in CANADA, the homeland of the first grappling tournament ever hosted in the World (Gene Lebell’s Grappling Challenge in 1997), I booked the biggest Superfight in grappling history, World’s Best Grappler, Joao Assis versus grappling and Jiu Jitsu legend, Saulo Ribeiro and I was so excited to see it live along with crowning 225 of Canada’s Best Grapplers – but my health came first and sadly I missed it live.

I raced home from the hospital on Saturday after I was released to call my wife, Lucia to get results. The Superfight was supposed to start around 1:30 PM, but Joao Assis was delayed to the venue – and the match didn’t get started until 2:30 PM EST. I called my wife just minutes before the match started and begged her to give her phone to Riccardo Ammendolia, who was conducting the play-by-play for The Fight Network and and I actually got to listen to it LIVE!! I posted the play-by-play the best I could, because the crowd was INSANELY loud here:

Sitting in the hospital all week, my amazing wife Lucia spent hours with me on the phone and on my hospital bed working super hard with some of the best ambassadors the sport of grappling has ever seen. I would like to thank some of those amazing people who supported my family to ensure this event went off without a hitch including Riccardo Ammendolia, Cristina Rodriguez, Rohit Seth and the Ontario Grappling Alliance, Kahlil Moreland, Johnny Ramirez, Alberto Marchetti, Jim and Alec Kearns, Dave Karchmer and all of the other amazing referees (some of which even got stopped at the border with all of the heightened security) and sponsors FIGHT Planet ( and Street Soldier ( If I missed anyone, please forgive me, I’m still a little out of it.

Without ALL of you and the amazing leadership of my wife (I’m so proud of her), this event would have NEVER been possible. I am the luckiest man on the planet with the best wife in the WORLD. We’ve been blessed by God and embraced by the entire Canadian grappling community. Thank you for being there when I needed you most.

Your grappling promoter,
Brian J. Cimins, CEO
Grapplers Quest