I’m feeling egocentric at the moment, so I’m gonna dive right into how I did. There were 16 women in my division, so I was thrilled to death that I’d have 4 fights to gold – the more the merrier right? I had a good amount of jitters, but I sat back in the bullpen reciting my mantra to myself until I was focused.
Pulled guard and worked my tripod sweep. I then passed to side control. She rolled into me and I circled around, thinking of taking her back – almost diving in a reverse triangle. I was a bit too slow though and she stood up so I had to pull and sweep again. This time I pulled Kenny’s favorite “shin on biceps” trick and then kimura’ed her from side control. It was a fun match!
All i can say is “wow!” I didn’t feel overly threatened, but man did she wear me out! We spent the entire match with her trying to pass my guard and myself trying to sweep and shoot triangles at her. Man, am I glad for those training sessions with the kids – teaching me how to move and re-guard quickly! I started to feel a bit tired but then noticed she was breathing harder, and that bolstered my confidence. It ended up going to a ref decision since neither of us scored at all. I remember thinking to myself “What? All that and no points? Please pick me!” And he did!
3rd match (semi-finals):
I immediately pulled full guard and we spent most of our time there. I immediately started working my cross choke in on her, and instead of defending she started trying to choke me from my guard. I remember thinking “Really???” She was trying to force it without either grips deep enough so it didn’t really bug me. She finally started defending her neck and trying to break my guard. When she reached back to try to grab my leg behind her, I caught her in a triangle. The rest is history.
4th match (finals):
I made a huge mistake here. I watched the girl compete on her side of the semi-finals, and became more concerned with avoiding her game, than implementing mine. So I came out a lot less aggressively than i should have. She pulled guard first, passed, and spent the rest of the round in mount on me. I’m irritated with myself for the mental break, but I’ll do better next time!
So I ended up with the silver medal! I was really hoping I would earn gold, but hey, it’s a pretty decent start! I really wish I could do the open and have more matches, but that will have to wait until I get my blue belt. All good things…
I really am proud of myself for coming out here to compete in my first big boy tournament. It has been an amazing time so far just getting to be immersed in this big melting pot of languages and cultures. I don’t even know how many countries and languages were represented, but we all had something in common.
I was hoping to update this more regularly while I am in Lisbon, but the wi-fi was acting up at my hotel. I’ve moved to a different one for the next few days, and it’s working now! It is fairly late (or early) here, so I’m going to sleep. I don’t head back to the states until Wednesday evening so I’m hoping to visit some Jiu Jitsu schools while I’m over here!