Monday, June 4, 2012

Past 3+ Weeks

Here's my attempt to summarize training and comps over the past 3+ weeks.

The NOLA BJJ in-house tournament went well enough.  Great to see the team and mix it up with a few of them.  They organized fights by belt plus an overall fight.  Each match was 8mins.  I know my first opponent well.  He's much younger and a bit taller.  Probably my size or a little heavier now that I've dropped some weight.  I believe we got our Blue Belt the same night.  The fight was tough and, if I recall correctly, I was up 2-0 but down an advantage until the last few seconds when I gave up a half guard sweep and lost by the advantage.  I got a second fight because another Blue (older and lighter) showed up late and needed an opponent.  Won that by arm bar in a few minutes.   Then met another young Blue, about 25lbs lighter, who picked me apart.  Managed one sweep (bread and butter), but for the most part, he kicked my butt.  Consolation?  Both guys who beat me got promoted to Purple after our matches.  

I trained a lot the week between the NOLA BJJ in-house and the tourney the following weekend in Pensacola. Had a pretty good scare one of the nights.  A new Blue had me in a really jacked up triangle from the back.  My neck wasn't exactly in danger, but he started yanking on my arm.  I felt fine and safe but then heard a series of pops and immediate burning in my left shoulder.  Tapped.  Sat out for a while.  But, thankfully it turned out to be nothing.  

Pensacola tourney was fun.  They combined the Master/Senior Super/Ultra divisions.  Got paired with a Master.  Guessing he had 30lbs on me, but if he didn't, he sure felt like it.  After a bit of grip fighting I pulled guard.  Worked a couple closed guard sweep attempts when he postured to break the guard open.  Got him off balance momentarily, but couldn't tip him.  Eventually opened guard and set up the bread and butter.  Multiple attempts failed, but a couple were really close.  At some point I recall retreating to half guard and he got really heavy before I could secure deep half.  I was stuck, flat on my back.  Time ran out: 0-0 and my opponent won by advantage.  He went on to dominate the final too.  I know what I did wrong and the next time I'm in a similar position (heavier guy and can't finish the sweeps) I'll be ready.  

Signed up for the Adult Open because none of the master/seniors wanted to compete open.  Ok...what's with the old guys not wanting to fight the open?  Didn't we pay money to fight?  C'mon.  Okay, end rant.  Got paired with the Med-Heavy adult champ.  This kid threw up a couple flying armbars earlier in the day so I decided to approach him with a very very low base and wait for an opportunity to pull guard.  Turns out he met my low approach and pulled open guard (de la riva).  Stuffed it, passed to half guard, and smashed for the pass.  Secured the 3pts and went for knee on belly.  He squirmed a lot and recovered half.  But he recovered in a way that let me get really heavy top pressure (shoulder in chin with gable).  I remember his coach yelling at him to escape to my back (how? I don't know...).  His response was classic:  "I'm trying coach!  But he's STRONG!"  I'm pretty sure I heard the ref chuckle.  Finished him with a palm up / palm down cross choke from top half.  

Got the Adult Middle champ next.  I was feeling quite cocky at this point.  Shouldn't have.  He worked me over pretty good.  I have to say he was probably the strongest opponent I've ever faced in competition.  And he was only a middle weight.  Amazing.  I believe he choked me from back.  It wasn't pretty.  He went on to win the open final via triangle after being down quite a bit and only seconds left.  And...he got promoted to Purple after the tourney.  

The two guys who beat me train at the same gym in Pensacola.  Even got an invitation to visit their academy and train.  Yet another reason why I love this sport.  I hope to take them up on the offer soon.  Pensacola was amazing.  Great weather, pristine beaches, very well run tournament, and an all-around great time.  

Division Opponent: About to pull guard.

 Division Opponent:  Bread and butter set up

 Division Opponent:  More bread and butter set up

 My 2nd Open Opponent: Winning the Open Final.

The Academy for MMA and BJJ in Pensacola celebrating the Open win.

Since returning from New Orleans and Florida, I've only been to UNIJJ twice.  Everyone was preparing for worlds camp and the atmosphere was intense.  I don't think I'm cut out for that level of training.  Maybe some day, but not yet.  The highlight?  I got to watch both Miyao Bros train for 1.5hrs straight.  Fresh Purples, Browns, and Blacks rotating in.  No rest.  It didn't seem to faze them one bit.  Simply amazing spectacle.  


  1. Rick, it was a pleasure meeting you and, no offense, I hope I never see you in competition again--you're tough as a coffin nail! You are always welcome at our gym, it would be great to train with you. We can compete in the tournaments but we're all teammates in the sport of jiu jitsu.


  2. Thanks John. Hey, if not competition, perhaps in training. I'll figure out a way to get back there. Feel free to head west too! If San Diego is too far, then New Orleans for sure. The Louisiana Open is in the fall. November I think. Always a good tourney.