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!

Breaking In The Blue Belt

Well I had my first tournament as a blue belt on Saturday! It was a pretty small one with just one other blue belt – who I was ecstatic to see!

I won our match with a cross choke from guard about 90 secs in. The workers asked if I wanted to do 2 out of 3 for the win and I agreed. The more experience the better! After a bit of a rest, we went again and I ended with a RNC after about 4 mins.

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She was pretty good natured about it. Apparently I’m getting a bit of a reputation locally… She remarked to someone that I had “man hands” and he asked “was her name Nicholle?” I hope to see her again!

In no Gi they put me in the “Intermediate Open” division. I lost my first match on points, and won my second by straight ankle lock. So 2nd place in no Gi.

Overall it was a nice way to break in my new belt. I wasn’t sure how I would do, but I went for it and broke the ice!

It was really sweet that they let me bring in my massage chair and do some work on the tournament staff members in exchange for my entry fee

I got a few ladies interested in coming out for my next ladies open mat! I’m expecting quite a few more this time around! Gonna be awesome!

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In other exciting news:
I was thinking that I would really like to compete at the IBJJF Chicago Open on Aug 17, 18. I was starting to lean more toward waiting for the Atlanta Open since it’d be closer and I may only have the budget for one.

Then I found out that the current world champion of my division is on the list to compete in Chicago and I declared “I MUST GO”!

So I got myself registered yesterday! There are 4 total in my division so far – hoping for a few more! I’m also very excited about the prospect of competing in the open for the first time!

I’m gonna have to figure out some kind of fundraiser for my competition fund… The next few months is looking to get a bit expensive. I plan on going to the: Chicago Open, Atlanta Open, No Gi Pan Ams in NY, and Abu Dhabi Trials in NY. I’ve estimated that registration plus travel costs for all of those is going to cost about $1,340 – Almost half of which is airfare to NY. I can take a bus if I need to, but that would just suck!

I’m planning on buying a small freezer to keep at the gym and start selling fruit pops. I make some awesome fruit popsicles, including some pretty legit acai varieties. Coach has given me the go ahead – with how warm it gets at the gym (and the number of kids!) I should be able to put a decent dent in that competition fund! Yay!