Monday, August 06, 2012
So for those of you who know me, I had my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament this Saturday. I'll do my best to keep this a moderate length and more pertaining to Spark stuff rather than all about jiu jitsu.
First off, I've only been training for two months and this was my first time competing in any sort of combat sport. Oh, and for those of you who don't know, Bjj is basically a submission grappling martial art. Think wrestling, but instead of trying to put your opponent on his back, you are trying to choke him out or put him in a joint lock that can break or dislocate if he doesn't tap. Very useful fighting style that allows competitors to go 100%, without worrying about getting punched in face! haha, I love it.
So I signed up in the white belt division as a lightweight, weigh in was the day of the tournament and I had to be under 159 lbs. That monday and the week before, I was weighing 159 first thing in the morning. With the stress, that made me paranoid that I would drink too much water the day before or eat too big a breakfast and weigh in at like 161 or something. When I would get off work, I would weigh more like 163.
So I cleaned up my eating to the point where I think I could have run a healthy shopping show. My thing was, I was at weight, so don't do anything to my body it isn't used too. I stuck with my basics of grilled chicken, brown rice, lots of veggies and fruits. I cut out as much sodium as physically possible to keep myself from retaining water. The pounds just melted off. It was awesome. The day before weigh ins I was under enough that I ate chicken and whole wheat pasta for dinner, and then had a big bowl of cereal that morning.
I didn't drink anything on the 3 hour drive to the place, and I didn't drink anything besides a glass of milk after noon on the Friday. I weighed in at 155 and that right there felt awesome.
So then we sat around and waited for a long freaking time. Anouncements and kids went before us. I drank plenty of water, even dumped a pedialyte packet in to make sure I got my electrolytes back just in case. Ate a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and a banana as well.
As it got closer to time to go, I was snacking. Healthy things, predominately trail mix, granola, and a clif bar, but old me was back and it used food for comfort. Thankfully I didn't eat so much I felt bloated, but it was a concern. I was eating handfuls right out of the bag.
Finally the kids get done and I'm trying to figure out when my weight class/belt goes. This is the biggest thing I didn't like. They called out the names and out of nowhere I was up. I stepped onto the mat for my no-gi match and we started. It was about 30 seconds from getting my name called to fighting. I wish I had even a minute to just collect myself and put myself in the right frame of mind.
This first fight, we locked up, each looking for a chance to take the other down. I know my takedowns are horrible so I pulled guard. I'll keep this from getting too technical, but basically I held him in my guard for about 3 min while he looked to pass and I was trying to see an opening for a sweep. With about 30 seconds left in the match, he did break open my feet and got to side control. Giving him the 3-0 victory in points. I felt ok with how it all went.
Then it was back to the waiting game. I went and ate anonther bagel/pb/banana to calm my nerves. Changed into the gi and waited some more. Went to the bathroom and came out and saw a teammate of mine jumping up and waiving his arms frantically. They'd called my name. I went over there and our match started immediately.
I don't have a wrestling background, many Bjj guys do and it really helps them with at least the stand up game. This guy shot for a single leg takedown and got it on me, then immediatly passed to full mount. about 20 seconds in I was down 9-0, so I knew I needed a submission if I wanted to win.
This match was so much fun. Lot more action than my first bout. Desperation mode kicked in for me and I managed to escape the mount and get on top for a bit. Then he rolled me and I tried for triangle becuase I needed a submission. It wasn't the best time for it and he used that to pass my guard. Then I regained a sort of half guard and brought me leg up for a gogoplata. He tucked his chin so I couldn't sink in the choke. I switched to an omaplata and started attacking his shoulder.
I had that locked in for abour 30 seconds, he walked over and had a leg holding me down for a while so that I couldn't sit up and put all the pressure into it I'd need to get him to tap. I got the leg off me and was working on sitting up and getting him down flat to the mat to finish it when the timer went off. I don't know if I could have finished the submission or not, but although I lost like 14-6 on points, I felt pretty good about that one as well.
So that was how my two fights went, only took a knee to the eye so I'm not too banged up haha. I kept getting compliments from the other guys about how I did good for a one stripe white belt. A couple of times, blue belts were saying to me that they weren't this good when they first started so that was really nice of them. It was one other guy's first tournament from our school, he was a white belt as well but had been doing this for about 8 months, whereas I started 2 months ago.
One thing I realised in the afternoon, was that I had been walking around all day in a very tight rashguard (basically under armour), and I wasn't self consious at all. I never used to wear just the skin tight under armour. Even in football, I'd have a t-shirt on to cover up my torso because I was embarrassed of my gut. Never once did the thought cross my mind that I should cover up a little.
Another thing that came up in conversation was the big IBJJF tournament. This is the nationally run, big time show of jiu jitsu. People fly in to compete in IBJJF events. There's one near us Sept. 15th and just about all of us are going. They have different weight classses than this one, and everyone was wanting to get into a lower one so that they wouldn't be undersized. For me, featherweight would be 151, and lightweight would be 165. I'll be dropping down to featherweight for that, which seems so awesome to me, considering I was 215 pounds last summer.
Someone asked me what my natural weight was, becuase I looked a bit bigger than some of the other guys in my weight division, and I said I had no idea. Told him I was 200 lbs. at Christmas so I'd been losing weight and trying to see where the best fit for me was. The rest of the guys from my school heard me. None of them could belive it. "I can't picture you ever being 200" was the comments, and I'm like "trust me, 5'8" and 200 isn't a pretty sight."
So that was how my first competition went. I look at it like a success. I din't win, but I learned so much, which will help in September. So that's a victory. I also made weight easily. That was like my own little battle and I was flawless in making it there.
This is getting long so I'll cut it off here. There'll be a part two about this tomorrow likely. I'm celebrating a little (Had fast food yesterday!) and then talk about what I need to do next and some other thoughts. Someone recorded everyones matches, so if you're curious go ahead and leave a comment and I can send you a youtube link or something once we upload them.