Tournament update

Things went pretty well at the St. Croix Valley Grappling Games. My 10th Planet brethren all performed valiantly. As a team, we took home a lot of medals. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice…

As for my own performance, I had a rough start. My takedowns still need a ton of work. I think the problem is closing the initial distance. I end up playing a long distance clinch game, which usually ends in my being taken down, or me pulling guard. Either way, I start 0-2 in each match. Not good.

Granted, I don’t care much about points, either winning by them or losing by them… Points and time limits are the bane of submission grappling tournaments. Points are for wrestlers and Tae Kwon Do students. So having said all that, I ended up losing my first match on points, winning my second on points, and finishing my opponent in my final match.

After my first match ended, I was really feeling physically and mentally out of it. Like I couldn’t get my game going. I went into my second match thinking “Maybe I should give up my arm or neck, and just go home.” Once I slapped hands with the guy, I decided to fight it out. I ended up sweeping and gaining side control, and then mount to get a bunch of points. Once I mounted him, I started working a slow arm triangle. Keeping heavy and tiring him out while still going for the sub. (Because screw winning on points.) He managed to survive my attack, and I managed to burn my arms completely out. They felt like they were filled with lead… Bad news.

So after that match ended, and I was standing there with gassed arms, they announce the next match. Guess who had to roll next? That’s right. Me. Damn it…

They took pity on me and gave me a few minutes to recover, and after 3 or 4 minutes, I realized I was about as recovered as I was going to be. With no arm strength at all, we started the match and I was taken down again. He managed to mount on me quickly, and I snatched a lockdown by using a 10th Planet move called “Escape from Alcatraz”. Once I had the lockdown, I quickly secured a calf slicer from there and he was tapping immediately. It was probably the most surreal experience of the day.

Thanks again to Nate Kleinfeld at Next Level Combat for showing us that move a couple weeks ago. Final result? I managed to get a Silver in my division, and a cookie.

Wearing the 10P gear, while still claiming Combat Jujitsu on the sign-in sheet.

Wearing the 10P gear, while still claiming Combat Jujitsu on the sign-in sheet.

Another day, another tournament.

This Saturday I’ll be competing in another submission grappling tournament, the 2014 St. Croix Valley Grappling Games, held in Hudson, Wisconsin. On the upside, I’m not going to try to make a special weight class. On the down side, I have to get up EARLY to make it there on time for weigh-ins.

Having done the smaller tourney late last month, I’m not nearly as jittery about this one. I’m going to go, have fun, and try to strangle a few people. I’ll probably be successful once or twice, and I’ll probably get tapped once or twice… I’m there to compete against me. At the end of the tourney I know the yardstick by which I measure myself… Did I give up? Did I do everything in my power to finish the job? If yes, then I still won…

man in the arena

Testing yourself… Part Deux

The tournament came and went. Managed to score a second place medal out of it, too.

I learned a couple things, and am hoping my coach saw even more that I can improve upon. Next tournament, I plan to do both my weight, and also the absolute division. My nerves were so up after my matches, that I didn’t want to compete in the absolute for this tourney. I ended up regretting it about 20 minutes after they started. Lesson learned.

Next tourney is the Grappling Games in Hudson, WI. I come to squeeze necks and chew bubble gum… and I’m all outa bubble gum…

Representing 10th Planet Photo credit: Fabio Morescalchi

Representing 10th Planet
Photo credit: Fabio Morescalchi

My training partner Jake and I showing off the medals. Two best looking guys in the whole gym…

Jake is being modest. He actually has a 1st Place medal he won in his Gi division. (Against a guy who outweighed him by like 30 lbs!)

Jake is being modest. He actually has a 1st Place medal he won in his Gi division. (Against a guy who outweighed him by like 30 lbs!)



It’s funny. I’ve only rolled once since the tournament, due to being sick all last week. Strangely enough, I’ve put on my best showing against Roger at Open Mats in my life. Not only am I fighting harder for my scrambles, I’m managing to utilize my half guard game in a far more aggressive fashion.

Rolling with Roger is like rolling with a bear. Or a silverback. Or a yeti. The point is: Do not let Roger grab onto you...

Rolling with Roger is like rolling with a bear. Or a silverback. Or a yeti.
The point is: Do not let Roger grab onto you…

Testing oneself

Specifically, myself

I’m entering a submission grappling tournament on Sunday. It’s the first time I’ve competed since 2010, and I’m a bit nervous about the whole thing. Sometimes, it works out okay:

First tourney, first match.

First tourney, first match.

Other times, not so much:

Being helped up after my second match. This guy used my nose as a fulcrum for an Americana Arm-lock. The sound it made was so horrible, the guy and the ref thought her tore all the ligaments in my left arm...

Being helped up after my second match. This guy used my nose as a fulcrum for an Americana Arm-lock. The sound it made was so horrible, the guy and the ref thought he tore all the ligaments in my left arm…

Anyhow, I know going into this that I don’t train more than a couple times a week at the most. And that’s probably not optimal for competition. I watched this video the other day, and realized I’m more of an “progress oriented” person rather than a “tap oriented” person.

Part of the reason I could never be a fighter, despite my love of jujitsu, is that I lack that fire. That hyper competitiveness. Every now and then I get that motivation in class, and become a nightmare for whomever happens to be working with me at the time. 98% of the time, I’m okay getting tapped. I frequently put myself in terrible positions if only to work my way out of them.

So in three days, I need to change my whole perspective on rolling, if only for a few hours. I am not getting on those mats to get better. I am as good as I’m going to be on that day, at that time… On those mats, I am going to roll my heart out, test my skills, and see what exactly I’m made of…

Wish me luck.