April 3, 2013

2013 San Fran Open: Fight Analysis & Review

Talk about taking ones sweet ass time... I have finally, successfully, downloaded the video of my match at the 2013 San Fran Open back on February 23rd.  Seemingly ceaseless problems with YouTube has delayed the upload. Glitches aside it was a great event and a solid fight for me overall, and I welcome your constructive criticism.

This was the second IBBJF event to be centered in San Fran in as many years, and with over 600 competitors one would have to count it a success.  Held at the Kezar Auditorium which had a cool old vibe, yet was clean and accessible right in the heart of the city of San Fransisco, the IBJJF ensured a great tournament.  And for me personally it would mark my first competition since summer of last year. 

I love San Fran. I have my cousin who lives there with her awesome husband, cat, and two dogs.  The people are always cool.  Great food.  Great training.  What more can one ask for?  Sprinkle in a top tier tournament and you got yourself a killer weekend!

The IBJJF is running timely and tightly anymore, and the six rings at the San Fran Open were no exception.  My division ran right on time and overall I saw pretty solid refereeing throughout the tournament.  I got to the Kezar a couple hours earlier then my division was due to go, in part to warm up, but mostly to watch one of my hero's Nino Schembri fight.

He won, and as I warmed up I met Caio Terra in the bullpen and got to watch the Miao brothers boringly close out their division.he fighters are usually not in the mood to hob-nob in the bullpen, so I did not get extended opportunities to talk to anyone.  Most fights I saw were won via points, with lots of guard pulling peppered with a few decent take downs.  Great competition at the purple and brown belt levels throughout the spectrum of weight classes, as the level of grappling seems to be improving at an breakneck pace. All the guys in my division were solid purple belts and came ready to scrap! 

Overall I must be honest... I had very few expectations of this tournament for myself.  My life has been turned upside down in the past year which has been a blessing in disguise training wise, where I have had more time and less distractions in regards to getting on the mat.  Which is a good thing. I have a solid feeling of "my game" at this level, and looked forward to fighting a new opponent to pressure test "my game" and uncover any flaws. So I decided to fight down a division and enter the masters heavyweight.

Still working my stand up, my opponent Byron (sorry... didn't get his last name) got grips on my 1914 Kimono, turned an angle, and shot in on me getting the take down. Well... I'll let you view the vid and offer my notations thereafter.

Though I lost I felt I played my game for the most part.  I need to be less accepting and fight the smaller fights harder.  For whatever reason when I locked on the Omoplata I got fixated on it!  Typically in the dojo I have half a dozen things I flow into when they protect that arm, but on this day and time I got it locked into my thick skull that I need to finish the shoulder lock.  Thankfully I swept him, but he grabbed ahold of my leg and quickly re-swept me.

Overall I feel I need to be more assertive and less accepting.  For whatever reason I got locked onto finishing that Omoplata and temporarily abandoned my game, which ultimately led to my demise.  In the end I felt solid with my game considering the lemons life has dealt me as of late.  By no means 100% but I hope my next tournament (whichever that may be) I put on a more solid showing of what I am capable of, as my BJJ has really made some strides as of late.

I cannot thank my training partners for the hard rolls and preparation.  Much love to my cousin and her man for the couch, the video, and the awesome support (hell's yeah that is her yelling "Burroughs" in the video!).  1914 Kimono's has been there for me over the past couple years with support of all kinds, can't thank you enough.  RCJ Machado and the Machado family for their teaching and support. Lastly I want to send my heartfelt gratitude to my coach, mentor, and friend Brian J. Johnson.  You have taught me what I know, and made me who I am on the mat....I hope to carry it on with honor for decades to come!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.


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