I have to admit…my interest in this training log is beginning to flag. I’m cutting corners in my posts and, as a result, the blog’s utility as a training tool is diminished. That said, I’m not quitting. Just contemplating a format and post-frequency change. We’ll see.
I trained last Thursday. Sort of. Work made me very late. Got there about 10 minutes into the technique. I stretched. Then joined the group for the rolls. Got absolutely destroyed by a Purple. Rolled with a couple other Blues and a White. Pretty light going. Just wanted to get the joints moving before the tournament.
Oh yeah. I competed on Saturday. My first tourney as a Blue. Louisiana State Championship. NOLA BJJ did fantastic as a team. Closed out a number of brackets. I had three fights, lost two – both against the same guy.
Master, Blue, Super Heavy division only had two folks. Me and Steven Springer (aka Nemesis). Thought: “Hmm… My normal game won’t work. It doesn’t in training. Why would it work now?” So I implemented Plan B. Go buck wild. Started with a totally botched drop seoi nage. Somehow managed to save half guard. Got the half guard sweep. Failed x-pass attempt. Failed muscle-brute pass attempts as I tried to dodge some wicked open game work. Escaped a triangle shoot. Almost got caught with a second triangle. Got caught in an arm bar on my way out of the triangle. That’s how my foggy brain remembers it going down.
Matched against a seasoned Blue in the first round of the Open (…I assume seasoned because he said it was his 3rd Statewide tourney as a Blue…). Taller than me, but about 10lbs lighter. Took him down. A bit sloppy leg trip. Landed in his half guard. Passed his half guard. Attempted to advance position to knee on belly. He blocked. Switched to north-south. Couldn’t trap an arm for a kimura or other sub. Felt my body rise too high and across his chest center line (from side control) several times. Heard my corner cautioning. Fortunately he didn’t do anything with it. Eventually took his back. He spun around into my guard. Seem to recall shooting an arm bar. Bailed into turtle. Rolled from turtle into an x-guard set up then settled into half guard. Got the half guard sweep. Passed again. Up 14-0 before finishing it with a step over choke from side control. Saulo special. Unfortunately (for him) he responded to the step over by laying flat on his back. That changed my angle of attack and turned it from a true choke to a pure pain submission as the inside of my left knee smashed and cranked on his jaw/neck as it wedged against my left forearm wrist. He yelped a bit as he tapped and rolled over. Didn't get up for a while. Probably didn’t feel good at all. I felt a little bad. I had him crushed. Didn't need to go for the kill. Then again. It’s about the experience. I saw the opportunity for the sub. I took it.
Met Nemesis again in the Open Finals. My Plan B (i.e., spazz) didn’t work the first time so I decided to back off and play my game. I knew he'd beat me, but I was fine with that. Although we share the same rank (1-stripe Blue), he's clearly better than me. No doubt about it. Pulled guard. Worked a bit of lasso and spider. Thought I had a sweep a couple times but his base was impeccable and I couldn’t adjust my hips to recover the proper angle. He eventually broke free and was on his way to pass. I seem recall a bit of inverted spider work and a brief open guard recover before landing in half guard. Unlike our first fight when I got the sweep, he cross-faced me early and hard. I couldn’t establish an underhook and sweep set up. He began to pass. At some point I bailed to turtle to avoid pass points. He ended up getting my back with hooks. Tapped to a choke with only seconds on the clock. I deserved it. I bridged right into his choke. Silly.
I’m sure I have some details wrong. I have videos of my Open fights. (Thanks Matt Washington!). Will post he vids and photos as soon as I get a chance.
Congrats to Steven and the rest of my NOLA BJJ teammates for a great tourney. Competing is a win for your journey, even if you didn’t win a fight. You showed up. You fought. Others didn’t. Ergo you won and they lost. TO PLAY IS TO WIN.
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