Monday motivation

First Step In A Long Journey

I had every intention of posting this back in September, shortly after my first jiu-jitsu tournament in years. However, due to a small roadblock brought on by the tournament, and my tendency to procrastinate when it comes to writing, it took about two and half months longer to complete this post than I originally intended. I know, I know, shame on me. Anyways, the rest of this post will be a match by match summary of the learning experience that was the in-house jiu-jitsu tournament held at Gracie Tampa South this past September. ENJOY!

Match Making

Brackets were created based on experience/belt level, which placed me in the adult white belt (beginners) division. There were no weight classes and after looking around at my competition I knew the likelihood of me grappling someone bigger than me was highly likely. My assumption soon came true when I was matched up against my first opponent, who was approximately 30 lbs heavier.

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Match #1

My first opponent was someone I had grappled with in class. I knew he wasn’t terribly aggressive but since he was bigger than me, I knew using what strength I had was probably not the best idea. I attempted a few unsuccessful arm drags and trips until my opponent finally took me down, and landed inside my guard. I worked off my back for the majority of the match until I was finally able to escape and take his back. I finished the match holding onto a half-hearted submission attempt that was more “prevent defense” than “attacking offense.” I ended up winning the match on points.

Match #2

My next opponent outweighed me but he had just finished a full length match, which meant I most likely had the cardio advantage. He didn’t waste anytime taking me down, but he fell into my guard. He had a low posture which allowed me to get my legs up and slap on a leg triangle. I adjusted my posture to really tighten up the choke and forced him to tap. I think my technique was a little sloppy but coupled with my opponent’s fatigue, I was able to get the win by submission.

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Match #3 (Semi-finals)

I had a chance to guarantee myself a 1st or 2nd place finish, but I had to get past the biggest competitor in my bracket. I grappled with him before and I knew he was EXTREMELY aggressive. However, much like my previous opponent he had spent a lot of his available energy in his prior matches. Even though he outweighed me by about 50 pounds, I foolishly tried to setup a takedown for the first minute of our match. He finally scored a takedown and I was once again working off my back. I made repeated attempts to sweep him, but his weight and posture prevented all my attempts. I attempted a guillotine and arm bar late in the match but to no avail. I lost the match on points.

Match #4 (3rd Place match)

I went into the 3rd place match excited by the opportunity to get on the podium. As excited as I was, the fatigue of three matches was starting to catch up with me. My opponent and I were pretty evenly matched weight wise, but as soon as the match started I knew he had more in the gas tank. He quickly took me down, passed my guard and attempted an arm bar from the mount. I was able to escape the arm bar and almost locked up a guillotine in a wild scramble, but we had to restart after going out of bounds. Once we restarted, it was essentially a replay of how the match began: takedown, passes my guard, mounts and throws on the arm bar. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy to escape this attempt, and I was forced to tap. I lost due to a submission, and ended up 4th in my bracket with a 2-2 record.

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Match #1 in the gi (Ultimately the end of my day)

Four competitors stuck around after the no-gi tournament to compete in the gi. Even though I’m still a novice at jiu-jitsu, I can say with confidence that competing in the gi is WAY different than competing without the gi. It takes a different skill set that unfortunately I’m not quite skilled at yet. Regardless, I threw on the gi and went up against a frequent training partner of mine who I knew was better than me. The match was going pretty much as I expected with my opponent controlling the action until I finally pulled an escape and took his back. My good fortune didn’t last long because as I tried to prevent my opponent from escaping, I suffered a non-contact injury and was forced to verbally tap out. I lost via verbal submission due to injury.

Wrap-up

“I did a jiu-jitsu tournament and all I have to show for it is this stinking cast.” I say that in jest because even though I sustained a broken metacarpal in my last match, I am extremely happy that I participated in the tournament. I learned a tremendous amount AND realized I still have a tremendous amount to learn. I finally returned to the gym last week after 10 weeks of recovery, eager to continue working toward my goal of earning my blue belt.

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Get Ready To Be Motivated

Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy and as a result has been wheelchair bound since birth. When he was 15, he asked his father, Dick Hoyt, to push him in a local 5-mile benefit run. Dick and Rick placed next to last in the race, but Rick told his father that “when (we’re) running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” This event inspired the father and son team to complete over a 1000 races including marathons, ironman triathlons, and they even biked/ran across the entire United States. Dick Hoyt has pushed, pedaled, and pulled Rick across numerous finish lines to perpetuate the feeling Rick had after their first race together.

Don’t forget that your health is important to you AND your loved ones. Make time for your fitness, it’s worth it.

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Team Hoyt

Beating Back the Couch Monster

Get out and be active today! Remember, it takes less than 25 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (i.e. brisk walking) a day to improve your aerobic health. Don’t let the couch monster prevent you from being healthy. The Real Housewives of Orange County marathon will still be on after your workout, trust me. Make time for your fitness today, it’s worth it (Photo & quote courtesy of fitbie.com).

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