In the 1990’s, tucked away in the wonderful world of New England, a man had a vision for the sport that seemed to be b lack listed. The sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, was tied to that horrendous “UFC stuff” seen on tapes across the country. However, this man wanted to shed that image and show it wasn’t exactly what the people thought it to be. You can actually check out some sick NAGA No Gi highlights in the video below
Joe Cuff, the man in question, cultivated an idea called “NAGA”, North American Grappling Association. Before long, Cuff had turned NAGA into the biggest grappling based association in the country.
With the boom of BJJ & MMA in the early 2000’s, the popularity and participation of NAGA
skyrocketed and it quickly found its footing in the community. Once they reached that level, Cuff decided he wasn’t about to let the “North American” part of “NAGA” hold him back. It was time to go global. You can learn more about NAGA and it’s history on it’s official page!
No Longer Just For North America
Recently, I talked with Cuff concerning their expansion. Not too long ago, NAGA branched out overseas and established
themselves in Europe. Helping cultivate themselves in the grappling culture, Joe was extremely optimistic regarding their current slate of events.
“In 2013,” Joe shared, “we have events in Germany, Monaco, and our upcoming European Championships in France.” He didn’t stop there, he was also quick to share what else is in store for the continent, “NAGA will continue to promote more events throughout Europe in 2014 and beyond.”
Obviously experiencing success with their European events to date, Cuff seems to be comfortable enough to continue his tour of Europe, and introducing his product to the masses on a global scale.
However, it’s not only Europe that Cuff has his crosshairs on.
Grappling for the future
“We have multiple new European locations in the works for 2014,” Cuff told me. However, I could sense a certain air of excitement that went beyond the topic of his European plans, so I dug a little bit deeper.
As it turns out, NAGA is casting a very wide net in terms of reaching new audiences, and Joe was candid on the details.“We are also looking into having an event in Brazil in 2014,” Cuff shared. “In addition to more European events, beyond 2014, locations such as Russia, Japan, Africa, and Central America are being considered.” You can learn more about NAGA’s future in my article on Science of Skill!
Now THAT is impressive stuff right there!
One thing I have learned over the years is that you must be full of ambition if you want to achieve success in your given field. After spending time with Mr. Cuff and hearing about his plans for NAGA in the near future, it’s safe to say that Joe isn’t lacking in the ambition department.