Did the tournament today. Goddamnit, why am I always so exhausted when I write these things?
Tournaments in Brazil are really cool. The major differences being:
-The tournaments run smooth, and actually meet posted times.
-The refs know what they're doing.
-People are actually excited by jiu jitsu. There's even cheering!
-The level of experience of the entrants is completely backwards. Back home it's all white belts, some blues, a couple purple, and if you're lucky you'll see a pair of browns go at it. Out here the white belt is the smallest division, then it just gets bigger and bigger, with two of the 4 days dedicated to the black belt divisions. Awesome. Looking forward to those. I want a picture with Saulo.
As for me, I somehow ended up in a rush to get ready this morning and barely ate. I shoved down half a bowl of cereal and then we caught our cab to the tournament, where I had a couple bananas to hold me over. It wasn't enough. I felt so crappy.
My turn came up before long and I met my opponent beforehand. He was Brazilian and named Ygor. Nice guy, but let's just say not the most intimidating looking fellow. He tried to flop to the ground, not really sure what he was going for, but I ended up in his half guard. Passed eventually. I think he turtled and I took his back. Maybe even twice I had to take it. Apparently I need to see the video again. Anyhow, I finally finished with a bow and arrow choke, and so the thing I lost to in my last tournament became my first weapon in the next one.
Beginning of first match
Just a teaser for now...my camera ran out of memory like a minute in, so the rest is on my friend's camera. I'll get that up ASAP.
Then I had some time to rest up. God I felt awful. I forgot to mention, I've had the shits like crazy these past couple days, and I was legitimately worried that I might shit my pants during the competition today. I used to faint randomly when I was a kid and I was strongly reminded of that feeling today. Jack, a fighter from the U.K. in the house, brought me something to eat and gave me a swig of his gatorade. I ate like one piece of toast and immediately started going for a walk to the bathroom, just in case. I didn't make it, a girl from the house was warming up in the back hallway as I dash right next to them and spew vomit into the trash can. Nice to see you too. After that was out of me I was feeling better. I don't understand why it happened. I don't feel sick, and I really wasn't feeling overly nervous, so it wasn't like a jiu jitsu version of 8 mile or anything though the dingy bathroom and the situation did kind of remind me of the movie.
So anyways, I go up for my second match. Another Brazilian, he avoids me entirely and has the tough guy face on. The guy pulls guard on me. Or half guard. Either way, he ended up in deep half guard. Something I had heard about, but never really experienced. As far as I know and could tell it was a stalling position. So I did what I normally do with a half guard and fought for the underhook and tried to free my leg. My leg was not trapped with much force, but the position was such that in order to free it I would have to get way off balance. You could tell this was what he wanted because as I adjusted to try to get free he kept trying to sweep me. So I didn't know how to pass this 'deep half guard' so I decide to just make it really uncomfortable for the stalling son of a bitch by driving my elbow into his neck and throat. Eventually I passed into side control, I think crucifix. This guy was better than me so I wasn't going anywhere with that. He ended up reguarding and as I was reaching for a collar, I dunno, I accidentally kind of smacked him in the face as the round ended. Anyways, I apologized for the accidental smack in Portuguese and that was that, the snooze match was over, and I was going to the gold.
The gold medal opponent was from Canada, go figure. I talked to him a bit before the match, just general chit chat about Brazil and Canada and training. Seemed like a nice guy. He just started amateur mma so maybe I'll be facing off with him again. As for the match, my gameplan was to get him to shoot for a double leg (I don't know, I just felt like he would) and then do this fancy kimura reversal that Dave always used to do on me. However, during the match he didn't shoot and was looking for grips. After a little bit of grabbing I said **** it and jumped guard on him. He was very strong and we sort battled for posture a bit, and I eventually caught the hip bump sweep on him into mount. Then I just held mount with a grapevine with feeble attempts at ezekiels or arm triangles. God, my submissions from mount are awful. The problem is I'm used to just punching people in the face from here. He escaped the mount. Found his way into my side control. Got a choke on me tight, I bridged desperately and then I pussied out and tapped. I could have fought it longer. Why did I give up? I don't know...a moment of mental weakness, I guess. More demons needing to be faced. I'm not impressed because he was good, but I could have beat the guy.
Anyways, I got silver then, which is better than I expected by far. I'm not disappointed in the results, but finding that point of giving up isn't comforting for a fighter, and I let it come too early today.
Fun day all in all. I'll get the video for the matches and picture at the podium when I can get my hands on other people's cameras. I'll also try to get some pictures with familiar faces on the black belt days.