I competed in my first BJJ competition over the past weekend. The competition was hosted by US Grappling and the rule set was submission only with no time limits. I have I have written this account primarily for myself, and I have posted it here for those who may have interest in competing in the future; I recommend it.
I managed lose the weight through two techniques; riding with the heat on in sweats from Blacksburg to Richmond, and sitting in the hot tub for twenty minutes once I got there. I would not recommend the driving technique - it was AWFUL! Once I had hydrated up and eaten (much more than I probably should), I went to sleep to rest before the tournament.
The next morning I headed out to get to the tournament early. I wanted to watch some matches before mine started especially since this is my very first tournament. After watching for about an hour, my no gi bracket was ready and called to mat 2.
My opponent was a Ryan Hall student named S.and he also had under nine months of training. From the get go I knew he was stronger than me, but I managed to get a (sloppy) double leg take down into his guard. The next hour and a half played out in a fairly repetitive manner. He would go for the kimura from guard, and would either torque it to the point that I would give up mount in order to defend, or he would switch into a bump sweep to the same effect. From mount, I would struggle to hook the arm and bridge out while he continued to hunt for the same kimura. At one point in time S. took my back and was nearly able to rear naked choke me as I arched my back away from his cup. At another point, I was able to break his guard, overhook his legs and pass into side control in which I would threaten with my own kimura. S. managed to roll out of it.
About an hour and fifteen minutes into the match S. and I stood back up to play the take down game again. We exchanged a couple of shot but, not to my surprise, we were both short on technique and enthusiasm. That is, until the last take down in which while S. double legged me, I was able to secure an arm in guillotine while pulling guard. I had little faith that it would work, but I put everything into that damned choke because I didn't think I had anything left. I felt S. tap on my shoulder, and just like that, my first match was over an hour and twenty three minutes after it had begun.
After my match, I went on to lose the gold medal match to an absolutely fantastic jiu jitsu player in very short order. It would have been a great match up had I not been dead tired; but even then, I think i had a lot to learn from that man. Unfortunately I was matched up with the same guy in the first match of my gi divisions about forty five minutes later and while I put up a bit more of a fight, I lost in a similarly convincing manner. I don't feel particularly bothered by it because I learned so much about myself as a person and my flaws as a jiu jitsu practitioner in my first match up. There were times when I wanted to quit, that I could have tapped because I felt pain, but I did not. That's something I can take with me where ever I go from here on out.
I plan to compete again when I feel I have improved in the areas of weakness that I witness in my first match up. Overall, I am happy that I did, and would encourage any of you who practice jiu jitsu to do the same.
Note: I have changed the name of my opponent to his first initial. This is his story as well as mine and I have not asked him if I can post this.