Finish them! By which we mean, of course, whatever smokables or edibles you’re enjoying – and then promptly get into gear for Chronic Kombat. The cannabis-meets-jiujitsu series returned to Brooklyn on Saturday, May 18th. Created by seasoned cannabis events producer Mike B of High Garden, Chronic Kombat is a labor of love that combines an athletic tournament with the power of the plant.

Chronic Kombat's "Battle Of The Boros" Returns To Brooklyn

The latest session in what Mike calls “The Battle of the Boros,” this event determined champions from several rounds of grapplers. Presented by Grappling TV and Nation Athletics at Bushwick’s DiamondHeart Striking and Grappling/PCC, it was also available for pay-per-view streaming on fight night. Men competed in “160 and under” and “185 and under” brackets, while in a Chronic Kombat first, the women’s competition featured an advanced division bracket to crown the inaugural 135-lb Women’s Champ. Winners in each bracket will eventually go on to compete against those who rose to the top in previous battles in Queens, the Bronx, and Jersey City – tournaments to determine Manhattan and Staten Island representatives are still yet to be announced. 

"We had so many great matches in this one," Mike says of the Brooklyn tournament. "Just seeing the energy of the crowd for each match, and crowing the champs for each, were definitely favorite moments from the day."

Check out how to get Chronic Kombat on Grappling TV pay-per-view:

Who Are The Jiujitsu Athletes Competing In Chronic Kombat?

On Saturday, the fighting lineup featured athletes such as World-Ranked Submission Grappler and black belt Sean Yadimarco, black belt Andrew Franco (AKA “The Latin Samurai”), Jiu Jitsu World League Blue Belt Champion Gabriel Rivera, and the acclaimed Bobbi Figueroa.

Check out some of the fighters slated to compete:

Which Cannabis Brands Sponsored Chronic Kombat?

Attendees were treated not only to rousing feats of strength, but also to food, drink, and experiences courtesy of some of New York’s best cannabis brands. Honeysuckle was proud to be a media partner for this unique event, which included presence from sponsors like Brooklyn Arboretum (a cannabis delivery service), RedEyez, GRAV, Maxwell Snacks, I Bud You, Castle De Los Santos, The Last Stop, Tristate High Society, Piff Coast Farms, King's Cannabis, and Mopang Marijuana.

Attendees watch the Chronic Kombat tournament in Jersey City (C) Mike Schultz / Chronic Kombat @mikejschultz

The Origins Of Chronic Kombat: Cannabis And Athletics

Chronic Kombat began from a place deep in its creator’s heart. A personal trainer who specializes in jiujitsu and kickboxing, Mike found that cannabis helped him to relax and focus. As a young man curious about New York’s developing industry, he got involved with cannabis event production in 2017, making a name for himself through innovative gatherings that mixed consumption with networking and Millennial culture. Fortuitously, he started jiujitsu that year, so his love for both communities grew at the same time. Yet he felt the element of sports was lacking from the cannabis events world.

“Showcasing athletics in cannabis matters,” Mike says. “As a personal trainer, I consume, and I’m still in shape. My health is important. It’s a misconception [in the public mind] that cannabis consumers don’t care about their health. Sometimes you see an example of ‘stoners’ who look like hell, like they were just in a basement smoking all day, and it’s not the real representation of what this industry is. You can be athletic and also a consumer.”

He was determined to highlight the connection in a more public arena. “There’s a huge portion of jiujitsu athletes who consume,” the organizer explains. “There is definitely a correlation between people who train and enjoy cannabis. [I think it’s because] there’s a discipline and a ritual to both jiujitsu and cannabis, like, ‘Okay, I had a good day of training. Now let me relax my body.’ And jiujitsu is a flow sport, which is why they go hand-in-hand. You’re not overthinking, you’re just moving – your mind and body are connected. One reason I think cannabis helps with that is because it puts you in that mindset. That’s also why a lot of jazz musicians consume, because you get ideas and just flow with the music. Some martial arts require aggression – you’re constantly hitting – but in jiujitsu specifically, you’re moving your body and grappling and trying to outmaneuver someone. It’s not a punching sport. It’s more that you go with your emotions, and cannabis helps you to feel at ease [doing that]. Then after a hard day of sparring, you let all that energy out and you can just chill and smoke a joint.”

Fighters at Chronic Kombat's Jersey City tournament (C) Mike Schultz / Chronic Kombat @mikejschultz

Creating An East Coast Cannabis Juijitsu Tournament

In 2019, Mike attended the High Rollerz BJJ tournament in Las Vegas. Billed as “The Dopest Jiu Jitsu Show on Earth,” the forum did exactly what he envisioned: cannabis-infused athletics on a prime stage. But when he asked the event’s producers if they would consider bringing the show to the East Coast, they declined.

“I think they were happy with the setup they had on the West Coast,” he comments. “But I realized, ‘There’s nothing like this on the East Coast.’ There wasn’t any tournament or experience bringing together athletes to compete for cannabis prizes. There wasn’t a place for spectators to watch, consume, shop, and just enjoy a fight night with cannabis. So [I came back to New York] and reached out to one of my longtime friends who also trains jiujitsu and is a smoker. I said, ‘Let’s put a jiujitsu-slash-cannabis tournament on here in New York City.’ My friend came up with the name as a play on the Mortal Kombat game that we grew up playing, and that’s how it started.”

While the 2020 lockdowns put the major plans for Chronic Kombat on pause, Mike finally got to see his first one to fruition in 2021 in Brooklyn. He asserts that this is what makes the May 18th event so meaningful; it brings everything full-circle, back to the series’ origins.

Chronic Kombat Showcases Women Athletes

Chronic Kombat has also been praised for spotlighting women in jiujitsu. The tournaments have regularly featured female championship matches, and this weekend’s event will be expanding on that.

“I’m happy when we can showcase female athletes because that makes it so much more diverse,” Mike states. “They’re great competitors. Jiujitsu isn’t just a guy’s sport, obviously; there’s a lot of talented women out there. When they [participate], it shows other women, ‘You can be badass with these cool skills too.’ It’s also great self-defense. And it’s been fun to see more women compete. The first event [in 2021] had only one female match. As time has gone on, that’s increased. Our last event in Jersey City had 10 female matches. We love it.”

Chronic Kombat spectators (C) Mike Schultz / Chronic Kombat @mikejschultz

What's Next For Chronic Kombat?

Mike is looking forward to the future of what athletics and cannabis can manifest in Chronic Kombat. “This is something new here in NYC as far as cannabis events go,” he enthuses. “It’s good vibes and mixing two crowds. Cannabis events can be niche on their own, and jiujitsu events are mostly for jiujitsu competitors. Now I’m combining both. It’s something new, to have a jiujitsu tournament with cool cannabis brands; you get to smoke, relax, try something you never have before. It’s the meshing of two communities.”

If you’re ready to jump on the mats with Chronic Kombat, we know you’ll have a grand time indeed. And to Mike, whose dream is allowing those of others to flourish as well, we can only say: Flawless victory!

Chronic Kombat: Battle of the Boros – Brooklyn took place on Saturday, May 18, 2024, 5-10PM at DiamondHeart Striking and Grappling/PCC, 1 White Street in Brooklyn. For more information, follow @chronickombat on Instagram.


Written By:

Jaime Lubin is Honeysuckle's Editor-At-Large. Her writing has appeared in HuffPost, Observer, Billboard and more. Also an actress and singer, she can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

@jaimelubin (IG)

@jaimelubin (Twitter)


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Featured image: Sparring during the Chronic Kombat Jersey City tournament (C) Mike Schultz / Chronic Kombat @mikejschultz