Petter’s first BJJ tournament (and first two BJJ tournament losses)
Waited wayyyyy too long to compete—I’ve been doing BJJ for about four years, but never once competed. This was dumb, because it’s retarded my progress and means that I haven’t worked certain attributes of my game (initiative, aggression, winning, that sort of thing). Still, I figured late is better than never, and I tell ye sooth, just preparing for a competition has elevated my game to new heights. (More thoughts in my blog, here.)
Still those heights aren’t very high, so here are two videos of me losing at the CBJJF BC Open, in the medium heavy bracket (too high for me, but I didn’t think my first tournament ever, registered at short notice, was a good time to learn weight cutting), and then in the open weight division. In the medium heavy bracket I was probably the lightest and certainly the weakest. In both, but especially the open (where I was not at a size disadvantage) I was outclassed. Oh well! At least I finally stepped up.
My first match is boring to watch, consisting of (1) lots of circling, (2) lots of me stuck under mount and my opponent unable to finish, and (3) a loss on points.
My second match was a lot more active and ends with a sub. Exciting!
The team did well, though. Somebody made a highlights reel. They also had a better camera.
Afterwards great celebrations were had at a Brazilian steakhouse. I ate enormous quantities of food, got food poisoning, and couldn’t train for the rest of the week. Good times were had by all.
My second¹ tournament! This time perhaps in my proper weight class (middle), having lost some of my fat. (I say “perhaps” because if I were the sort to cut weight to make divisions I suppose lightweight would be achievable.) I'm the short guy in the white gi.
Well, I just couldn’t break the guy’s damned guard. I need to work on that, but in particular I need to work on standing guard passes. Since my kneeling attempts to break his guard weren’t working, a standing attempt seems like the logical next step, but I do so few standing passes and consequently have so little confidence in them that I was pretty sure I’d get swept if I tried. Indeed, I had these explicit thoughts in mind during the match. So instead I stayed down, playing more conservatively—and nearly got swept, then had my arm caught as I tried to recover my posture.
Well-run tournament, though it kind of sucks to show up by 9 am for a single elimination tournament and be out of the competition by 9:20. At the last tournament I fought in the open division as well, but this time you had to medal in your weight class to qualify for open; thus just the one match.
It may not look it in that video, but I am much better than I was a few months ago. Competition has accelerated my progress drastically. Really wish I hadn’t made the mistake of waiting so damn long to compete—4½ years in, this was just the second time! Shameful, really. Ah well; at least I stepped up, right?
¹ Technically, my second BJJ tournament, of course. In fact I’ve also competed in quite a few junior chess tournaments.
Team highlights from the tournament:
Sadly, I guess I didn’t contribute much…
Thanks for sharing the videos. I'm still a BJJ white belt, so I guess I can't offer much in terms of advice, but good luck for your future competitions.
I've been training myself for 9 months now, and have already taken part in a no-gi competition a few months ago which didn't go so well (rear naked choke after 1:41). I've got my first gi competition due in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I'll do better there :)