Saturday, February 13, 2010

Melbourne - week 2 - no gi competition

I'm back from Melbourne. Even through I had an early start to be in good time for signing up and weighing in, the drive today didn't feel so long. Made it in about 1 hour, 45 minutes today (a bit longer going home, as there was more traffic at the Melbourne end - Victoria Street, Richmond is a busy place!).

The tournament was no-gi, round robin. Everyone had four fights in their weight classes. As there were only two girls, we both ended up competing in the lowest (under 68kg) division. It was a fairly small affair, like a club thing, but there were people there from other schools. Most who competed are taking part in the 7 week thingy.

I had an attack of the nerves this time. Couldn't really say why. I mean, it's ridiculous, I like grappling, I've gone from standup before, I've done no-gi before, I've tapped out a million times before etc. I've competed at a BJJ tournament once before, and competed heaps in horseriding events in another life. So what's there to be nervous about?? Yet, briefly I felt dry-mouthed and light-headed. The way I do if I have to speak publicly (hate it!).

I got a grip though. I warmed up, I gave myself the don't-be-an-idiot-of-course-you-can-do-it speech and then it was on. No waiting. And once I'm on the mat and have shaken hands, I'm good. Unlike in my first competition, I knew what I was in for :-)

I'll say right here right now that I can't give a blow by blow description. I have an awful memory for details which is a pity. One day I hope someone will take a video of me fighting, so I can see where exactly I stuff up. That might help in getting better.

Ok, first fight was a young muscled up guy (I think that's called ripped these days??). Sheesh, I can't even remember if I attempted a takedown and messed up or if he took me down. All I remember was me in side control, then mount and him attacking my arms full on, inbetween some forearms across my neck and an attempted ezekiel choke. Come to think of it, he might have nearly had my back, but I avoided his hooks and then came the other stuff. I balled up like I tend to, defending neck and arms, getting half guard. Even had a lockdown. But couldn't get in deep enough for a sweep because he flattened me out. In all that, he eventually peeled out my arm and I had to tap to a figure 4.

Second fight we clinched while standing and then he took me down pretty hard. It knocked the wind out of me for a second, by which time he had a good position. Whatever happened didn't take long, and I am trying to think what I tapped for??? Damn!

Third fight started better. He was a bit tentative and I scored a double leg takedown. He got his arm around my neck for a front choke but it wasn't very tight and I had my hand in it. I got to side control with my head still trapped. And then foolishly went to mount (head still trapped). Then he bridged and rolled and when he arrived in my guard, I finally got my head free. Now, was that stupid or what?? In any case, I kept breaking him down in my guard and looked for something. I was a bit irritated by his constant hands or forearms on my throat, but I wasn't aggressive enought in using his extended arms for a sub. When an armbar finally stuck out like dog's balls and I had his arm, he started stacking me and I couldn't get my hips in position. Sometimes I hate my creaky old body.. But the truth is: my subs are sadly lacking. No excuses. I need to get better. Anyway, time was called and lo and behold, I'd won on points. Whooohoo!

Last fight was against the only other girl in the comp, and I outweighed her by 10kg. She had been a bit roughed up by a couple of the other guys. After winning against one guy in her first fight, the next two guys manhandled her and she was a little upset about it. We both weren't in the placings anyway, so I didn't go full bore. I didn't drive hard into the takedown so she got full guard, and from there it went to open, and from there it went pear-shaped for me and she finished me in a nasty tight triangle. Don't trust pretty looking blond girls :-). Naw, but seriously, she deserved it, and she is a lovely person.

So that was my day out at my first no-gi tournament. What I took away from it was:
I need to be more proactive/aggressive (what's new??)
I need to work attacks (what's new??)
I need to have more confidence/worry less
I am not hopeless, some of the stuff I did was fine
I need to get better
I want to do this more often :-)

On that note, I'll sign off, make myself dinner and have an early night :-)


  1. I had a very very similar experience at my first tournament, a nogi round robin, also coed since there weren't enough girls... I had 6 matches (4 boys) and lost all but against the smaller of the two girls. It all went by in a blur, but I did have video. (it's on youtube, if you want to see what really poor jits looks like)

    What I took away for my next tournament the following month was this: sometimes it's not about having better technique, but having more aggression and tenacity. So I went to the next one thinking "I'm going to break her effing jaw if that's what it takes to get the choke." Now I wasn't serious! but I was, in a way. And it helped.

    Good luck for your next one. And yes, definitely, get some footage!

  2. I lost my first no-gi tournament. I didn't win a single match. Don't be to hard on yourself. Now that you know what it is like it will go better next time.

  3. Thanks for the comments :-)

    Well, the comp in 5 weeks will be interesting, there will be both gi and no-gi divisions. Hopefully, the lessons I just learned will make me a better competitor for that one!

    I will need to work out a way to psych myself up, I think. Break jaws, rip arms out - yeah!! No, but seriously, I will need to go in with an attitude. There is an old saying: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog...

    ...bitch with attitude - I'll keep you posted ;-)