August 21, 2011

NWJJA Tearing Up Revolution Grappling Tournament August 20, 2011

NWJJA had a small, but solid crew showing up to fight Saturday to Bonney Lake HS for the August 2011 edition of the Revolution Grappling Tournament held by Jeff Bougious (sorry shorty, probably slaughtering that last name of yours;).   With 400+ competitors I saw teams from all over the Pacific NW, and I must say their are some solid fighters out there.  My review and analysis will focus solely on the gi portion of the tournament, as I had to leave prior to the no gi getting started.

I have not competed at the Revolution for about 1 1/2 years or so, simply because in the past it was not run as smoothly as I liked and I hate the hurry up and wait game!   Well let me be the first to stand corrected as Jeff and his crew have really tightened up the ship.  Six rings for the adults running all the time with no significant lulls or delays.  All of the reffing I saw was solid and fair (I must be missing something in the rule book as to how a take down is scored, because I saw a lot of lame point calls in that regard and by deductive reasoning I must be the one missing something in the rules!).  And almost every division started at the time they stated it would!  Even new medals then the past 5 years!!!

NWJJA had a fresh crop of newbies hit the mat as Brett, Ian, and James have never competed before.  Scotty has done some no gi, but I want to say this was his first gi event as well.  Every single one of you stepped up to the challenge and did excellent!  What spectators and "hobbyists" don't get is that simply to step onto the mat and put everything on the line in a fight takes balls bigger then most will ever see.  So in all respects of the word you have won already before the ref yells "fight."  The preparation, the training, the discipline, the sweat, the sacrifice.... this is the battle you have fought and won already.  The outcome on the mat is minor comparatively.

For James and Ian fighting large brackets they had some tough competitors and a handful of fights each. Ian snuck into the 2nd place spot, and James lost a close one fighting for third.  I think both of you did really, really well and you now have some things to bring back to the dojo to work on.

Perry the Canuck came down from our affiliate school in Maple Ridge, BC. to fight with the kids in the lighter purple division (all divisions were combined) and held his own breaking even on his two matches of the day.  He got a wicked kimura on one kid!  Perry is stepping onto the mat with kids a third his age and kicking ass.  What an inspiration to us all!  Next time stay for a bit P!

Scotty fought well all day and really showed some great heart, unfortunately no checks in the W column, but he really took away some solid lessons from the hard fights of the day.  Let me know when Scotty and I am more than happy to help work on some things.

Hands down the star of the day was Brett Smith.  He channeled the power of his little fluffy Pomeranian named Peaches, and brought the fight to the tournament!  Some great guard work and a most beautiful arm bar in no gi, cross choke in the dudes guard, overall Brett showed a lot of promise in his first tournament giving 110% in every fight he had!  Barely losing the third place battle in white belt gi, I overheard his opponent afterwards say:
"I want to fight you again bro!  That was the toughest roll I had all day, I hope to see you again in a tournament!"

Rocking the Origin 550 Gi
'Nuff said when your opponent ends the day with that comment!  And trust me, it was sincere.  Keep up the hard work Brett!  When you get a little older we will get you a man's dog;)  (For those of you on Facefarce, look up Brett Smith and he has a vid on there.  Sorry, no way to imbed it here.)

As for yours truly this was my second BJJ tournament at purple belt since getting it a month ago.  Already I feel I have semi adjusted to the pace a little better.  I was concerned about this tournament as the day before (Fri) I suffered the most debilitating migraines I have had since childhood.  I used to get terrible ones that would lay me out for 24 hours plus!  Laying in a dark room, eyes closed but can't sleep because you are puking every hour from the pain.  Not fun.  Well something, not sure what, triggered the first in the past 23 years Thursday night, and Friday I was out of commission!  I was worried I would have no energy to fight Saturday, but said "Fuck it!" as I had already paid and have nothing better to do, see how I do when not 100%.

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I had only four total guys in the purple division with me, so my first match was against Coby from Foster BJJ.  I am pretty sure we have fought before at white and/or blue level locally.  If I remember correctly he clock choked the shit out of me in the past!  Brian gave me a great pep talk and told me I have a "wicked guard" which would come in handy later!

  We touched hands and he immediately got a lapel with his right hand.  I was able to fend off the other hand which forced him to try a shoulder throw which I countered and he twisted and we feel down into my open 1/2 guard.  Again, I am befuddled how he got the points for the take down but we ended in my open guard which I am totally okay with!

Some positional and grip changes I started to isolate his right arm, working my omo plata game.  I cannot remember exactly what position my right foot was in, but essentially I used rubber guard to keep his posture down, got the arm (which he tried to defend) and since I was not sure of the control I had to finish the omo, I secured his elbow and compressed his wrist for the tap.  Being smaller I did not want to risk him rolling out of the omo plata and scrambling back out.  Fear the wrist lock!!

Final match was against Christopher from Straight Blast Gym in Portland.  He immediately pulled guard and got ahold of my base foot to get a simple back sweep.  Really smooth.  He passed my guard and came into side control with solid pressure on top and held me down really well, isolating and pinning my shoulders to the mat.  I worked a few things okay, but I have some real improvement to make.  Though he stalled quite a bit on top (afterward he apologized for stalling saying he was afraid of my guard), I should have some answers for that.  I attempted and succeeded in the Ballard Bridge sweep, but he pulled me back into guard.  I need to work my control immediately following the sweep.

In the end, as you see, I cannot gain the upper hand.  Down by 12 points with a minute left I have to escape and submit, and I make the mistake of giving up my back in desperation.  He sinks in the choke!  Nicely done!

In the end I bring home 2nd for NWJJA.  Next time some gold!

A lot to work on.  More observations later!

Thanks to all who made this happen!

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