Yesterday I competed in a major minor tournament. Minor because the level wasn’t going to be very high — major because it was my first this season and my first under the flag of my new academy. There are some key moments I need to remember, so I’ll write them down.
Two trainings before the tournament I totally sucked and lost against pretty much everyone and lost my confidence. And then during the last training we did positional sparring and I did great, so I came in on a confidence rollercoaster.
Nobody showed up in my division so I started in the open class. My opponent is called and I know him because he just won his category, smashing 3 of my partners along the way. I knew I’d better jumpstart.
Well the adrenaline jump-started me, I was holding onto my grips as if I’d lose points if I let go. I get a sweep, mount him, get reversed, rince, repeat. I get him in a triangle, he slips out.
After twenty-three hours of fighting the adrenaline stops and I’m exhausted. I tell myself I’m exhausted. Someone tells my opponent I’m exhausted. Fuck that guy :)
I went all defensive, trying to maintain my positions which just fails horribly. He reverses me. Passes me. Sideguards me. I know there’s no way I can loose on points, I just need this fucking match to end already. I won, it’s over, let’s go home.
He armbars me. I didn’t even see it coming. For some reason I thought it was smart to resist the armbar, so I try to flex my arm for 30 seconds or so, and then I feel the refs tap on my back saying it’s over. I sure am glad he stopped me because I might have broken my arm out of stubborness.
Then I stood up and saw that I actually won on time. Also, as I later saw in the video: 1. I got my dump after 4 minutes, not 23 hours 2. the triangle wasn’t even nearly locked in 3. I resisted the armbar for exactly 1 second before the match ended
Funny how my memory tricks me.
My arm did hurt a little but I was ready to go for another fight. The second opponent was quite lighter than I am and not too technical. I got him into a triangle early on and I started pressing. I saw him going out of breath and slowly closing his eyes. I started to panic and thought I had put himout so I let go, and of course he regained immediately resumed fighting. I locked the triangle back in and this time proceeded to dismantle my own ankle by keeping it closed. It did work though, he tapped. After that I had a mental meltdown. I felt like shit, I was wondering why the fuck I was even going through this stress and exhaustion, that I’d be better off on my couch and that fuck it, I already won twice, I can loose now and it will be alright.
Most other folks from my team seemed prettyok mentally. I chatted with some of them to try and cheer me up, I even told one of my friends how I felt but he told me it was normal. What a comfort. So I go into the third fight, my arms already numb. The guy is heavier than I am but I pull guard… and that’s it. We litterally kept it there for 5 minutes, blocking each other. Most. Boring. Fight. I mean I even apologized to him and his teammates at the end. I won 1 advantage to zero. I’m still ashamed of that one.
Open class finals
At that point I really felt like loosing would be a good idea. My opponent in the final is a teammate, where both good, I did the heavy work and got rid of the dangerous guys. But watching the other semi final and chilling to some music made me feel much better. I swore to myself I wouldn’t keep my guard closed, even if it meant loosing — at this point I just wanted to enjoy a good fight. I pulled guard, locked a triangle after a while but he got out. He started to pass but I managed to recover before he got any points. I started working from my guard, went for an omoplata but couldn’t lock it in. He posted up so I spinned around and locked in another triangle. I tried to tighten it but it was loose enough for him to keep going. I looked for opportunities for a transition to an armbar but they weren’t there, so I kept holding onto the triangle. He wouldn’t tap but I ended winning with my advantages.
I went up again the same teammate in the no-gi finals (there were no other competitors in our no-gi class) but this time relaxed as fuck. I pulled guard, he passed and got into north-south. I managed to take his back from there, fiddled around with a rear naked choke until he reversed me. And then the exact same sequence happened again: I went for an omoplata, he stuffed it by posting up, I spinned and triangled… only this time I made him tap. It was almost the last fight of the day, so there was quite a crowd watching as my arm went up for my last win of the day.