IBJJF Boston Open

My family lives an hour from Boston and I decided that I would compete in the Boston Open so that my Mom, Dad, and sister would all finally get to see me compete!

I wasn’t sure how having them watching would affect me mentally. It could make me spazz out, or turn me into an absolute beast. Thankfully, it was the latter.

Weight Issues:
That was a pretty rough morning. I had a division of 12, set to start at 9:00. I brought a scale with me to the hotel and was fine that morning but got to the venue at 8:30 and discovered my scale was off by a lot… Meaning I had about 20-30 mins to cut just over 2 lbs.

I went to call my coach to ask him what I should do, only to discover my phone was missing. I was panicking on many levels. In the middle of this time, my family arrived and I told them I had to go cut weight and find my phone.

I gave myself a rather intense abdominal massage to help the colon do its thing, but that wasn’t enough. I determined I would have to puke as well. I nearly gave up then. At that point, my phone was found and I decided I was gonna make the weight if it killed me – if for no other reason, but for my family.

So I made it. Barely. But I made it.

Irony of ironies, my first opponent didn’t make weight.

Weight Division:
I was supposed to have 4 matches, but my first opponent was over weight by a pound.

There were about three other people who were DQed for not showing up. I heard that there was some confusion as to he location for some. Anyhow, my next opponent was one of those. Sooooo… Pass into the semis. Sucks, but at least I could make up the matches in the open!

My first match (would have been my 3rd!) she pulled guard and I went straight to my cut through, passed, stayed on top, and Won 16-0. She had great defense and I wasn’t able to finish her. I’ve been working a lot on control from the top and it paid off at this competition for sure!

My second match was the finals. She definitely had length on me. I ended up in her closed guard but couldn’t reach her arms to do the open/pass I had been drilling. She bump swept me to mount and got the sweep and mount points before I was able to escape to my own closed guard. I was able to break her posture and finish with a cross choke in the last 30 secs of the match.

So that gave me a gold medal in my division. I registered for the open then ran out with the family to get some food in my poor empty system.

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The Open:
My first match in the open was against a medium heavy weight (I think). I pulled guard when I felt comfortable, then went straight for the ankle lock for the tap about 30 secs in.

My second match was against another light weight – the only medalist I hadn’t fought yet. I did my snap takedown, got on top, smashed, and finished from the back with a loop choke variation.

My third match was the semi finals and I got to face off with a heavyweight. Let’s just say I got my just deserts for the crushing I was doing earlier. Ha! She had me crumpled up like a tissue and I couldn’t move worth a hill of beans. She won on points and consoled me with the information that I had frustrated her with my deep half guard sweep threats.

So that gave me a bronze in the Open. I take great pride in being the smallest person on the podium (I was wearing boots with two inch soles)

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In Summary:
Rachelle came to compete as well and she did amazing! She gets better every competition and got on the scoreboard this time! Pretty soon she will be tearing it up as well!

I went out for food with the (very impressed) family after my weight division. My Mom had to go lie down at the hotel for the rest of the day because she was in a lot of pain (fibromyalgia and arthritis). She doesn’t travel very well so it meant so much to me that she was able to come! My sister stayed with her but my dad came back to cheer me on in the Open.

I was asked to help out working at the podium for a few hours, so I directed traffic, answered questions, and handed out medals for a couple hours. They paid cash at this competition so my food budget was restored.

What’s Next?
I’m back to the grind this morning. The New York Open is this weekend and winning it will put me in the top three of my division – so I guess I had better win it!

I’m really excited because the guys at Raijin Fight Wear have been teasing me with a new item design that is top secret – and a surprise for me. I should get to see it soon and it feels like waiting for Christmas!

There are just about 7 weeks until the IBJJF World Championship, and I just can’t wait! Looks like I will be the only person from my school going, so I’m considering going to Philadelphia the week before so that I can train at the TAC Team headquarters school for a bit. We shall see!

Hello 2014!!!!

New year, and new look for my blog!

I started my year off with circuit training followed by an hour of drilling the morning of the 1st. Did three massages, and then another circuit. Oh, and I did a cool video of it!

Kudos to you if you watched the whole thing!

My awesome sponsors at Raijin Fightwear liked this video so much that they have requested I start a “move of the week” video series. I’ll be filming some of that this Sunday after circuit training – They are even designing me a cool custom video intro! I’m so excited to get started with that! I am of course just a blue belt, so I definitely still have a lot to learn – but I have learned some good things in the last two years that are worth sharing.

Weight Cutting:
I’m in the process of cutting down to feather weight. I did 2013 at light weight, walking around at about 145 and cutting to 138 for competitions. It was recommended to me that I try feather based on my body size. Currently I’m weighing in at 130 and am shooting for 126 to make 129 in my Gi. Coach says I am pretty close to my limit of what my body will allow me to do, so it’s slow going at this time. I’ll probably post more about this later (maybe a few angry posts).

Ladies Team:
I love my ladies team! It’s slowly starting to pick up a bit, and I am now teaching a Saturday morning class as well as the Friday evening one. Coach says he will eventually have me take over the program – I’m being groomed it appears. I’m very excited that this year we have a confirmed 4 ladies from our school going to the Pan Ams, as opposed to last year being just me.

Training:
I’ve been drilling a lot lately – one good thing about the ladies is that they love to drill! Getting in at least an hour a day on top of class time.
I’m finally starting to feel competent as a blue belt, it took me a few months to get in the swing of it but I’m good now!

Competition:
My first competition of the year will be the IBJJF San Francisco Open on Feb 9. It will be my debut as a featherweight. It’s a bit of a distance to travel, but since the Chicago tournament falls after Pan Ams this year, this is my chance to test my new weight class out before Pans.
NAGA is going to be in Nashville on Feb 22nd so I think I’ll try out the expert and intermediate divisions if they will let me do both – otherwise I may just go to coach and save the money for my Pan Ams trip.

Hmmm I think that is about it for now. I’ll probably think up some other things to say tomorrow. It’s almost drilling time again!