About Us


Established in 2008, The Grappling Experience (aka Grappling-X), is the premier submission grappling promotion in the United States. In the six years of its existence, Grappling-X has hosted hundreds of the most exciting and competitive grappling events in California and beyond. The secret to the success of Grappling-X is three fold:

· First, Grappling-X is committed to having the best staff of any tournament. Unlike most martial arts circuits, Grappling-X does not cut costs by depending on volunteers. All Grappling-X staff are trained professionals and more importantly they all have a passion for the grappling arts.

· Second, the management and employees of Grappling-X have all embraced the philosophy of continuous improvement. Every person who works for Grappling-X, from upper management to the security staff, is never satisfied with just having a “good” event. Grappling-X personnel are always looking for ways, both big and small, to improve the “product” and enhanced the Grappling-X brand.

· Finally, Grappling-X has a strong commitment to its customers. The Grappling-X staff wants everyone who comes to an event to leave feeling that they were treated well and had a great experience. All of the Grappling-X marque tournaments are double elimination, guaranteeing that every competitor will have at least two matches. Grappling-X also works hard to make sure that all children are matched and placed in brackets that give them fair chance at victory. Recent Grappling-X added an all inclusive video feature that puts every single match on YouTube for absolutely free viewing. Most importantly the management at Grappling-X listen to the competitors, the coaches and even the spectators so Grappling-X as a company, and grappling as an art, can continue to flourish and grow.


Founder, Cory Cass, both bring years of grappling and martial arts business experience to Grappling-X. Cass has been running grappling tournaments since 2004. Cass came up with the idea of the Grappling Experience (Grappling-X) when it became apparent that many students of the grappling arts had to travel far distances just to compete. Moreover, these students would have to wait months at a time for a school or organization to host its "annual competition".

The purpose of the Grappling-X is to provide quality run, high level submission grappling tournaments in different regions, multiple times per year. The vision of Cass is that every student of the grappling arts should be able to showcase his or her skills without having to drive hundreds of miles, pay unreasonable fees and be treated like a number. Moreover, students from lesser known schools or students who are “unaffiliated” should not have to overcome barriers to compete. Cass believe that competition is a large part of a student’s development as a martial artist, therefore tournaments should be as pleasurable and accessible as possible.

Cory Cass

Cory Cass is the former WEC North American Lightweight champion and the owner of, The Fight Lab, in Murrieta California. A Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt with nearly 20 years of combined submission grappling and wrestling experience, Cass understands what each competitor, regardless of level or experience, has to deal with both psychologically and financially on their journey as martial artists. His school was named 2007 MMA School of The Year by the United Professionals Hall Of Fame. Cass not only competes and runs successful martial arts businesses, he has trained and managed other professional MMA fighters for the past ten years.

Brian Piepenbrink

The second man on the Grappling-X executive team is media professional, Brian Piepenbrink. An MBA, Brian Piepenbrink has written for Sherdog.com, Fight Sport Magazine, Grappling Magazine and was the managing editor for SCRAPP Fight magazine. Piepenbrink brings over ten years of professional writing, broadcasting, public relations and marketing experience to Grappling-X. A long time practitioner of BJJ and Boxing, Piepenbrink’s passion for the martial arts and its competitors is unwavering