Last Saturday, the 22nd of January I competed in the local AGF 2016 Dallas Winter Classic, my second competition.
I went in as Super Heavy (up to 220lbs), Master 2 age bracket, and White Belt, Gi. There was one other person in the bracket with me, Corey Allison from Top Game Jiu Jitsu Studio near Denton, TX. Even though we are in the same belt, weight and age bracket we are two very different people.
I got to the location, my wife with me, checked in, and went to find our team. We only had a total of nine competitors from our academy, most of which were kids. Bo and I were the only two adults.
I had a chance to watch Bo’s NoGi match, which he got caught with a leg lock pretty early. Getting there early was good to get the sense of the crowd, sense of the event, and get my nerves prepared a little.
I had some additional spectator support by a teammate, Chad Maples, and a co-worker, Richard Safigan who is a former wrestler from high school. It was great to have the additional support at the event. It actually pumped me up even more, giving me a reason to prove something to them as well.
I warmed up a bit, stretched, visualized what I wanted to do to prepare myself. We had been working the tight roll for the last few weeks I felt pretty confident in it so I incorporated that into my game plan.
It was time for weigh-in and waiting for my turn. Now my nerves we stacking up but I mentally forced myself to turn it into energy and not let it get the best of me by giving me tunnel vision you get when the adrenaline starts kicking in.
Once we was waiting I had to keep moving. Get myself pumped up and ready. I had met my opponent by first name and a quick handshake but nothing more. I was sizing him up a little in my head trying to pre-play things out a little without staring.
Once got on the mat I knew I was ready. I was actually really excited! Which was better than being scared or freaked out by the whole thing like I was at the Dallas Open.
The buzzer rang and we were going!
Bo had told me the day before at class to be first. That stuck with me and he was yelling it. I kept my opponent from getting solid grips and was working to get a lapel grip. The second I got it I pulled guard.
Getting in there felt really good and it boosted my confidence right then and there even more! But my opponent had a lot of strength and a super solid frame and base. It took everything I had to get control of him to go for anything. He was defending well!
We fought this for a while, then he broke my full guard but it allowed me to get into half guard. I fought and got my underhook and even had his ankle but it was like rolling with a tree! He wasn’t budging!
I mentally logged that as something I needed to work on. Just before that, while I had full guard Bonwas yelling to get the sit-up sweep to the left, but I didn’t feel confident enough as his leg pressure was good and I was afraid to lose him. When he broke my guard I tried to get to that leverage but by then it was too late, which led to the half guard.
He and I fought solid at this point with small movements until he found a gap to gain top mount, which I tried to bump him off but again, he was solid!
I was starting to get muscle failure holding my own but kept pushing as hard as I could to defend and find a gap to start shrimping out and regain guard. As I started to do that he managed to get my side and my arm and executed the arm bar faster than I could defend it and I tapped.
Because there were only two of us i still received a silver metal for 2nd place, which is still rewarding. I am excited to work on my short falls now and get on to my next competition.
You can watch the video here: