10 Percent Bigger

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Texas Open, a BJJ tournament in two parts.

Three weeks ago I sauntered into my regular BJJ class after having taken a couple days off to heal (tattoo related), and to travel (work related). While trying to loosen my stiff joints, and dodging the standard goodnatured insults, we started talking about the upcoming JiuJitsu tournament. It had been close to a year since I had competed, and with no prep (well very little in any case) I decided to jump in.

Based on my lack of working out (traveling, healing, etc) I decided I didn't want to try and cut weight. When I stepped on the scale I was about 237 and the cut off was 230. I probably *could* have cut that extra couple of pounds, but frankly just didn't have the energy. That lack of energy was a theme for me this event. I went into this event not really expecting much, I just wanted to get out and roll competitively.

Like most tournies they were a bit disorganized to begin with. I registered same day (probably didn't help that most people did this), and when I checked in they decided to collapse some of the experience levels. That meant I would be fighting beginner division no-gi and White belt in Gi. They also said we wouldn't have a Masters division (30+ years of age). I found my mat and started looking for people I knew.

Even for people who practice BJJ, tournaments are 6 hours of complete boredom interrupted by 20 minutes of extreme excursion. Since I got there early, I waited, and waited, and waited. Three hours later I had my first match. I got a bye since I was the lightest in my group, but my opponent had a 10 second match. Joy. I called my coach over, and the ref has us shake hands. The call "fight" rings out. We circled, and both tried to setup a "shot". Each of us changed levels several times, but no opportunities for a takedown. I tried a different approach and tied up with him trying for a Judo throw, but the guy was too big. I grabbed an arm and pulled to guard trying for an armbar, but it didn't happen. When I went up, he passed my guard. Immediately he tried for a Brabo choke. He slapped it on and it was tight, but I could still breathe. Some. Dave immediately had me grab my leg and execute the Brabo Sweep he invented. Success. I went from being under side control to having him underneath. Here is my biggest mistake. Instead of a good hard cross face, I pushed my elbow across his jaw. He locked up a crappy hammer lock and cranked the shit out of it. Since he was stronger then me and caught me by surprise I didn't have much choice. I felt my arm pop slightly, and I tapped. Game over I lose. Three hours of waiting for a 3 minute loss. Dang.

Next week ... redemption ... kinda.

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