Monday, 18 November 2013

Rickson Gracie Cup 2013

I must say that I have no excuse for how badly this tournament went for me. I was well rested, I had no significant injuries, and I was not at all nervous. There were 5 people in my category of lightweight purple belt senior 1 and I lost the first match. I watched later on as the other 4 guys stood on the podium to accept their medals and it was a bitter pill to swallow. Worse than that though was my performance. My goal was to stand with my opponent for 1 minute, try some takedown then if this didn't work I would go to sitting guard and x-guard for sweeps. The fact that as soon as we clinched my opponent jumped straight into closed guard blew all of those plans out of the water.

I should not have been so naive. There is a huge probability that past white belt, the other guy will jump to closed guard or open guard. Since I was in the Senior category I should have immediately went to the position I prefer and worked for sweeps. It was a huge mistake. I ended up stuck in his closed guard while he went for chokes and kept my posture broken and the clock kept ticking. I was stupid enough to reach too far for his collar and he switched it to an armbar from the side which I had to flip forward to escape but this gave him a sweep and then the time ran out. My grips were just not in place as soon as they should have been. There's really very little room for error at this level. I felt like a newbie.

I was even more pissed off by the comment from my instructor in which he asked me what the hell I was trying to do and then went on to counter compare it to other members of our club who had been successful during their matches. As a parent I know you should never say such things to your child that compare them to their siblings so it surprised me that he would compare me like that. It made me think about him in a darker light.

I reflected on this a little later on. Recently I read a medical related document about how you perceive your boss at work. It asked if you think your boss doesn't give appropriate instructions, whether he does not listen to what you say, if you think he is not competent and if you are unhappy that he doesn't ask you to do some type of task, it then went on to explain that if you answered "Yes", then you should not have any excessive expectations of your boss, he is not your parent, but just another human and you have to establish a give and take relationship. In terms of a BJJ instructor, this means that he is there to show you techniques but what you do with them is up to you. I cannot put any of my failures onto my instructor and need to take responsibility for my improvements in BJJ. I've decided to give more thought to how I want to improve, the techniques I want to use, perhaps drop a weight class, and do some cross training or visit other gyms to get a fresh approach. I will be quite stubborn about it from now on and have a more critical eye during sparring,

A guy I train with mentioned something about Jigoro Kano. He said that he believed 4 things were essential to Judo.

1, Studying the movement or forms
2. Uchikomi
3. Sparring
4. Research (talking with other students in depth about techniques and situations)

He has a judo background and mentioned how he liked the fact that BJJ has these components that Kano said were important but Judo doesn't seem to have them now. I think that 4 in BJJ is definitely true because there are so many new guards and moves coming out all the time.

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