Monday, 20 February 2012

Copa Dumau 2012, Handa Aoyama Budokan

I had a very good weekend. Everything went as planned. Both Friday and Saturday I had an early night's sleep and felt very refreshed because of it. Saturday morning I worked through a couple of techniques from my A game using my son as victim. In the evening, I took him to a hot spring just to help relieve any muscle ache and basically calm my mind. I also slipped into the sauna for a short time, much to my son's grumblings about the heat killing him (he's only 7). My weight has been hovering around 76 kg while wearing my ultra-light Vulkan kimono. I was a little worried about making weight and so kicked my weight loss up a notch by cutting down bread, milk and most of all chocolate. I didn't really eat much from 5 pm onwards the night before the competition. All of this added with the sauna brought me down to 74.4 kg on the day! This taught me that it is shockingly easy for me to lose weight just by cutting carbohydrates and dehydrating a little. I know K-sensei uses the "salt" method. Basically, he increases his salt intake then before the competition he cuts it out completely. This forces a lot of water out of his system and reduces his weight drastically. I don't prefer such extreme measures but I guess it works for him.

On the morning of the competition I felt very energetic. The diet made me feel light on my feet. No excess gas, no insulin surges or crashes to tire me out. I just felt really good. I've also had no injuries to take into this competition which was a bonus. Nervous - yes, I was - but this time it was more a happy sort of nervousness, an anticipation of doing something I enjoy, like walking into a cinema to see a great action movie but not knowing the outcome rather than waiting in line to ride a rollercoaster and thinking "There's a chance I might die" (I hate rollercoasters). The weigh in was around 9.30 am and my match started at 12.30. I packed a lot of fruit and homemade oatmeal cookies to scoff down after the weigh in. Last time I made the mistake of eating an Asai bowl before my match and was lucky not to puke. This time I did it right. I ate up until 10.30 am and gave myself 2 hours to allow my breakfast to digest. This made sure that I didn't feel bloated for my match.

I just walked around the rest of the time watching the other competitors while listening to Coldplay. Lots of guys were warming up, showing off their game basically to their opponents. I don't know why they would do that. Do Gimnastica Naturale or something sure, but not let everyone see you do Seio-nage so they can jot down in their notes to jump to guard because your base is judo. One thing that really struck home with me was how friendly everyone is after the match. They are crazy submission machines during the match but once it ends all they can think about is their opponent's well being. "Are you ok? I cranked your arm almost to breaking point but is it ok?" "Here, come over to see the medic." "No, it's all fine. Don't worry about it." . As you see these events unfold, it really makes you realize that BJJ guys are the nicest people you could meet.

As for my match, I won't go into it too much but suffice to say I won by referee decision. I played the game I wanted to play but it did not go as well as I wanted. I tried for a triangle and a couple of sweeps but failed. I kept my opponent on the defense all the time and almost landed a sweep at the end which gave me the match. One thing I learnt was never to let your opponent see you weaken. With 2 minutes to go on the clock I heard him say "Kitsui" which means "Argh, it's hard work". Hearing him say this bolstered my own energy to try harder. After the match, Tete and Shusei asked me if my arms were ok after using spider guard for so long and promptly started to massage one each. Those guys, what would I do without them.

One negative that I witnessed was a young kid who lost his match. The referee went to grasp his wrist as they do at the end to raise the hand of the winner and he just shrugged off the referee roughly and stamped his foot in anger. He looked like a little bitch because he had lost. I was totally disgusted with that attitude and lack of respect for the referee's decision. That is not what jiu-jitsu is about or any sport for that matter. I hope his teacher gave him an earfull for it.

 It was a good day and it gave me a lot to think about for what to train from now.

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