Yesterday I competed in my 5th tournament (not counting our in-house tournaments.) It didn’t really go as I wanted, but I wound up getting 3rd.
I had the following goals for this tournament:
- Not lose by submission
- Hit the takedown I’ve been working on
- Win via arm-bar
The only one of those I achieved was medaling. I made it all the way through my division without submitting, but I lost in the open by submission. I think that ticked me off more than losing in the open.
I didn’t even try the takedown I’d been working on. I guess old habits die hard. I ended up pulling guard in all my matches. I did look for that take down in my first match, but felt like it wasn’t there.
I also didn’t win by arm-bar. I did try a couple arm-bars, but didn’t get very far with any of them.
So based on my list of goals it was a pretty bad tournament. There are some things I’m happy with and some things that I’m still ticked off at. First, the matches:
In my first match, I was attacking. I got my grips first and when I didn’t feel like I was in range for my takedown, I pulled him into guard. I was able to hit a De la Riva sweep, which was pretty cool. About a year ago we had Leo Pecanha and Wendell Alexander up at our school doing a seminar. I didn’t even really know what De la Riva was until they worked it. Today I hit a sweep. I also was able to pass his guard and I did an omoplata sweep. Throw in a mount, and I won 11-0. But it wasn’t all about points. I tried an arm-bar against him, two guillotines and an omoplata, I just was unable to finish any of them.
The next match wasn’t quite as good. We stood up for what seemed like 1 minute (but my perception of time was off all day.) Then I finally pulled guard. I made the mistake of opening my guard without doing anything and he was able to pass. I got him back into half-guard, and he was able to pass that. The match finished with him on my back and I lost 10-0. So quite a swing, win by 11, lose by 10.
Before the third match, one of my coaches told me to go out and pull guard right away. Apparently, he had some good takedown work. So that’s what I did. We wound up in half-guard, and he tried to smash his way out, while I tried to sweep. Neither were successful, but he gave me space, so I got my full guard back. He tried just about everything he could to pass my guard. He had a fist under my chin for probably 1/3 of the match. I kept shifting my hips to get that off of me. I set up a lapel choke and while I had one hand pretty deep, he was defending the other by keeping his chin tucked. I tried to apply pressure to his mouth to get him to move up, but he never did. Towards the end of the match, I was able to get an overhook on one of his arms, and was going to try an arm-bar from there, but he was able to get it back. I finished the round by trying to do a omoplata type sweep, but it was right as time expired. The final score was 0-0 both with one advantage. The ref gave the match to him, because he was on top. I was disappointed with that (obviously) but at the same time, the answer to that is to score at least one point or get a submission.
Finally, a couple hours later I was in the open weight bracket. As seems to always happen to me in open weight, I got one of the bigger guys as my first draw. He was around 40 pounds heavier and about 3 inches taller than me. He kept his legs far away so that I couldn’t start my takedown. I ended up pulling guard (this time I managed to wind up in butterfly.) I couldn’t do much there, so I got my full guard. He had great posture, and it was an effort to break him down. I was only ever able to get one hand in the lapel, even when I broke him down. He started trying to set up an Ezekiel choke from within my guard. I’ve experienced that before and my typical defense is to extend my hips, which pushes the guy away. I tried that, and it didn’t work. He ended up finishing the choke and I tapped. Afterward, one of my coaches & I talked and I found out when there’s that kind of size advantage, I probably need to put my feet on his hips and extend, instead of just trying to extend my hips. In the end, he won the open weight.
I said there were some things that I thought went well. Mostly want went well was that I got some sweeps and also went for multiple submissions, even if I wasn’t able to finish them. Also, in the match that I lost by referee’s decision, I felt like, even though I was on the bottom, I was in control, or at least, I wasn’t being controlled by him.
Things that went bad, I came out with a lot of force in my first match, but that died down as the matches went on, I’m not happy about that. I’m not happy that I let my second opponent pass my guard with such little resistance. And I’m not happy that I lost.
After my first tournament, I wrote a post saying I felt like I had let my team down because of my performance, I knew that they weren’t disappointed in me, but that’s how I felt. After my next tournament, I was happy that I beat a couple guys and got a medal (3rd place.) After the tournament before this one, I was frustrated, because I went 1-5, winning my first match and losing everything else for the day. I felt as if I wasn’t prepared, or wasn’t focused. After this tournament, it’s a different feeling. I’m actually mad that I didn’t win.
I’m not mad at the referees or anything like that. I don’t think I’m mad in a way that is bad sportsmanship. I trained & prepared for this tournament. I was focused. I even executed some things. I just didn’t do enough to win. I don’t feel like any of the guys I faced were on another level that I’m not at. I say that to say that I think I could have won ay of my matches, but I didn’t, and that’s on me.