August 13, 2012

UGF Washington a Success!

I wanted to send a shout out to all NWJJA  competitors who had the balls to step onto the mat on Saturday at the UGF Washington Tourney!   I hope I do not forget anyone here:

  • Ivan Moran 
  • Randy Bacon
  • Spider & His Stache
  • Karlis the Latvian Impaler
  • Scrappy Phil
  • Slim Shady Kamau
  • Perry Bateson
  • Ryan
Everyone fought extremely well and should be very proud of their grappling.  This was Karliss' first tournament and I must say he fought excellent.  Unfortunately he got paired up (twice) with a no gi grappler who had no interest in actually grappling, just getting ahead by a couple points and then stalling out.  The outcome is certainly not indicative of your performance Special K!  You did really well.

Kamau brought home the silver with a last second (literally) armbar.  Randy nailed gold in no gi crushing the cat who stalled out on Karliss (karma??).  Spider's game is really starting to come forth.  A couple of tournaments ago he nailed his first submission and it has really boosted his confidence, and it is showing both in the gym and at tourneys.  Chris took silver in gi, bronze in absolute!

Ivan is perhaps the stud of the day fighting at least 5 times in both gi and no gi and giving solid showings each match.  Unfortunately he got paired up with teammates a couple of times because of small brackets, but I must say I had a blast coaching ChrisIvan at the same time.  Though we need to work on our listening skills as I was calling for inverted flying wristlocks and saw not a single one!  Ivan ended up with four medals!!!!!!!!  Way to rep NWJJA bro!  

Smile mofo, you just took silver!
Perry and I both fought as well as Perry's student Ryan.  Ryan took bronze with a solid showing in white belt.  Perry and I fought well but have some area's to work on.  I cannot speak for him, but I have not been with mentally focused all year.

My personal life has got my mind elsewhere and I really felt it this competition.  Funny thing is I feel like I have been rolling EXCELLENTLY in the dojo, but on the competition mat I just can't seem to put it together.  Purple belt is TOUGH!  Both of my opponents were excellent grapplers and capitalized on my foolish errors.  Jordan Kontra from Alaska was my open weight fight and he pulled to half guard immediately.  I worked his lapel out and isolated his arm, but the little motherfather had an AWESOME grip on my leg on half guard that completely shut me down, and subsequently frustrated me.  I need to learn some fucking patience!!!  Through a few mad scrambles he re-guarded (excellently BTW) and I decided (foolishly) that the UGF tournament would be the place I first try and stand to shake someone out of guard.  I did not pat attention to his grips and he ended up cross choking me.  Excellent match bro!  And great sportsmanship as well.

Ivan with the bling!
I also fought Brandon (sorry... can never remember your last name).  This is the second time we have fought in a year.  He was my first purple belt match in a tournament.  Brandon is super strong and very technical.  I pulled a weak guard and put him on my hooks, but the 30 pound difference (I got bumped down into the young guys bracket, and up in the super heavy weight division) and a solid base was enough to nullify any sweep of mine.  Long story short (video to come) he passes my guard and works fluidly from armbar threat to choke, back again, and ended up bow and arrowing me.... I think!?  I need to review the film.  

A big thanks to Ray, Chris, Justin, and Shortround for coming out to support.  I must admit I am a bit disappointed not to see more NWJJA folks cheering on your team mates.  I am not sure if a lot of you fully understand how much work goes into preparing for a tournament, how much blood, sweat, and tears are drained on the mat.  For you to come out and spend 2-3 hours and $10 of your hard earned money shy in comparison to the balls it takes your team mates to go out and fight!

An extra special big thanks to my bro Scotty for coaching us!  You are a great friend, better training partner, and you are going to be one of the best coaches in BJJ in the very near future.  Mark my words!  Thank you.

Props to MKG fighters James Kessenich and Doc Ray Ray.  Both fought hard and seemed like they had fun!  As a matter of fact I think everyone had fun!  Smiles abound and not one injury the whole day marks a successful tournament in my opinion.

Speaking with the owner Mike U. he was pleased with the 225 or so competitors we had represent the PAC NW.  I like his approach to the art and his passion is unquestionable.  Again I would have liked to have seen more local academies / coaches supporting this tournament.  So many tournaments are garbage and then a solid one comes along and gets little support... saddens me.  But the UGF will be back next year so you all have a chance to come out and support it.

Some of the positives about UGF:

  • EVERY division was on time!  Now... I would like to see how things run with 500+ participants, but I was very impressed with the timeliness of the tournament as a whole!
  • Solid rules... for instance wristlocks and straight ankle locks are allowed in white belt.  As they should be.  Knee bars in purple; spot on!  
  • Great medals!  No chinsy, cheap shit here!
  • Caring, open director who stopped to listen to every ones comments
One or two things I would like to see:

  • Warm up mats.  Come on... we need a mat to roll on to warm up at least!
  • Garbage cans within the arena.  Hate to gross anyone out, but I have seen it TONS of times... nerves get the best of us, full stomachs will purge when it convenient to them, not you.  No garbage cans within gated area = a nasty mess and ruined day on the mat!
  • Guard pass points.... SUCH a fundamental aspect of BJJ, I believe it should be rewarded.  
Overall a great tournament with lots of fun, made some new friends and caught up with some old ones. I love fighting as it points out our weaknesses in bold technicolor and I have plenty!  I need to invest in HD to see all of them.  Back to the mats this AM!

Mad respect to everyone, but especially to our coach.  Without you... we are nothing.  Thank you B!