This weekend I entered my first jiu jitsu tournament, I went no gi 140 pound bracket. A little background I've been doing judo for about 4 months. Some of my team and I entered just for fun and the experience. They went gi, and most of them did pretty well. I could not be more proud of how we did, it really brought us together as a team.
So no gi came up and I got called first, kinda felt like a trial by fire. Just my luck I go up against a strong wrestler, I've never fought or rolled with a wrestler so as you can guess he was taking me down at will. The day before we had a long practice but there's no way I was going to defend those takedowns after one day of practice; I digress. So he's taking me down at will, he's getting side control, mount, I'm able to get him back to half then full we get in neutral positions then get stood back up but his takedowns were stacking points. He takes me down three times tries americanas and kimuras luckily I'm long and lengthy, fought them off but I wasn't doing anything more than defending, each time we'd get stood back up, all this is in about 4:30 of the 5 minute round. I'm exhausted from his top control, I don't have the best cardio to begin with and this was taking its toll.
So he took me down 3 times, I was getting spanked. I'm not ashamed to admit it, he was working me good, stacking points. I was staying out of danger but had no offense besides a triangle that turned into a figure four on his neck, tried to sweep him with it pretty much just with pain compliance but he wasn't having it, I was gassing. Being on the losing end of this match I'm coming to terms about losing my first ever match. I thought "nice try, I know what I need to work on now." I wasn't going to give up but I knew I was pretty much dropping this fight, single elimination better luck next time. So after 3 takedowns and some ground work we're stood up a fourth time, there's about 30 seconds left in the match. He shoots leaving his neck out, I get my right arm around his neck use my left to sink it tighter, lock it up and pull guard. Position before submission right. He's standing holding my weight slams me down, I look at the ref and tell him to watch the slams, I know what it feels like when someone can't hold your weight and has to take it down but this dude definitely slammed me to get out. I was not going to let it go though. He taps, I was 15 seconds or less away from losing badly and pulled off the sub.
I am in no way bragging or building myself up. When I say I was getting spanked I mean it, I had nothing for this guy. My friend's dad recorded it I'm just not sure If I want to show people yet haha. I wasn't sure how far I could be pushed, I questioned my own will to win after this dude was killing me and I proved a lot to myself. Afterwards my friend was telling me how the other no gis were laughing at me, and he told them to shut the eff up and how it was my first tourney. I'm glad I could look so bad then keep my head in the game. I'm glad they saw me at my worst then come from behind and finish. I needed to know I could be controlled and not panic or give up. After that match I was drained, tried to rehydrate tried to eat half a protein bar. My head was pounding I felt like I was going to black out. The good thing about going first was I would have time to recover.
They called my name for my next match much quicker than I would of liked, but I had no choice I needed to get in there and see what I had left. Second match starts dude pretty much gets down like a crab starts butt scooting ref stops it tells him to engage. We clinch and he throws a guillotine around my neck, I tried circling out of it but his foot beat me and I'm in his guard on the ground. I try to break his grip, I hear and feel my teeth grinding each other my vision is going, I embrace defeat and tap. I'm not saying he beat me cause I gassed but that took my heart out of it, I didn't go in trying to win, I went in trying to survive and he took me out easily. The guy that beat me went on to take first in our bracket, I talked to him after and he was cool, he trains in a neighboring city and has a winning record in mma. I want to visit his gym see how far they can push me and build me better. I didn't go in expecting to win I just wanted to get my first tourney under my belt and go from there. I just wanted to rise to the occasion give it everything I had and see where I stood. I'm proud I proved my heart to myself, even if I lost just getting in there and not giving up would of been enough for me. A battle like that though was what I need, I needed to feel down and out, I never get pushed that hard and I didn't know if I could push back. I know I have holes in my game, the win was nice but I'm so ready to get back in there and improve. I can't wait for my next tournament either. I owe everything to my friends, team, and sensei. Sorry for such a long story, if you end up reading it all thank you.