IBJJF New York Open

I am currently on a plane for several hours and so I thought what better use of my time than to work on a blog post! Aside from polishing my new medals of course… but I’ll get to that!


I had a very busy week of work and training leading up to a full weekend competing in the IBJJF New York Gi and No Gi Competition. I had to spend a couple weeks out of training due to a concussion received, but was cleared for normal training two weeks ago. I still feel the need for more sleep, but otherwise have been back to normal!

While I was out, I wasn’t allowed to do anything but sleep and eat… Thanks to that I had to drop a lot more weight than I prefer to drop in such a short amount of time. It was doable, just not preferred!

I arrived in New York and made my way to Brooklyn where my fabulous friends Caleb and Alison live. After checking my weight upon arrival I determined I had some wiggle room so we went out to grab some food, I got to have a grilled chicken taco and then we went to a nice little bakery/bar because Caleb wanted cake. I ended up surrendering to the temptation of a glorious salted chocolate chip cookie with milk. So stinking good!

Competition Day 1 (Gi)

The next morning I got up and made the treck into Manhattan by subway – a really simple ride really. I arrived at the venue and as soon as I stepped down the stairs I was hit by a wall of heat. I remembered the venue as being ridiculously hot the last time, but this seemed much worse this time!

I wasn’t horribly concerned about making weight on the first day since I was already on weight for no gi day – meaning several lbs lighter than what I normally weigh in at (apparently the IBJJF thinks everyone wears a 6 pound gi). I ended up weighing in several pounds light and was all ready to roll!

My first match I finished with a sub within the first minute, and my second match went the whole time with a win on points. I almost always either win by sub, or loose by points. So that was a bit odd.

While I was waiting for my third (and semi final) match, I started to feel the affects of sitting in that sauna of a venue. I don’t do very well at all if I get dehydrated – some people can water cut, but I can’t.

I started my match and quickly discovered just how badly I let the heat get to me as I felt extremely disoriented. I don’t even remember right now how the match ended. I just remember being questioned by the medics and them telling me I was done for the day. They asked if I had been hit in the head and I told them I was just getting over a concussion and they immediately informed me I was probably done for the entire weekend.

I admit, I cried. After I assured them I had been cleared for normal training and had been asymptomatic doe the past 10 days while training, they agreed to let me compete the next day in no gi as long as I checked in with them first. The symptoms of dehydration can mimic the symptoms of concussion.

I downed a couple liters of water and immediately started feeling better. Yes, I tried to go back and talk them into letting me do the open, but I still got a solid “no” from them. Better safe than sorry I suppose!

End result: Bronze in my weight class

Competition Day 2 (No Gi)

After what happened the previous day, I came prepared for the heat toting a gallon of water and a back full of extra fruit.

I lost my match in my weight class over a stupid mistake. I had a triangle arm bar that was hyper extended but apparently my opponent was double jointed. I abandoned it and ended up getting passed off the triangle. My referee afterwards told me that I should have stayed on the arm because I was winning up until the point I bailed on it. It was a most epic match that I ended up loosing 2-3.

It was a small division to begin with however, so I was still qualified to compete in the open and I was totally charged up to do so!

Most of the time, I do not have a coach and I will be lucky if I have someone to film for me. I have to be responsible for my own pep talks. My first opponent received a very rousing pep talk from her coach and it actually made me nervous! However, at the edge of the mat I stood still, closed my eyes, and repeated my focus phrase.

It worked! I finished my first match by submission within 30 seconds! My second match was the semi finals and I won by submission at just past the one minute mark. For the finals match I started to get myself worked up again, so I went back to my focus phrase and needed up with a submission win in under a minute!

End result: Bronze in weight class, Gold in the open weight

What This Means

To date, I’ve had a really sucky competition year so far in 2015. I know that winning isn’t everything, but to fall short at every event gets demoralizing after a while. To finally make the podium again just felt so Good!

I have already registered to compete in the Boston Open, Atlanta Open, Master Worlds, and No Gi Pans.

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