Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 NAGA Boca Raton, FL

My first NAGA. I took so much away from this tournament. I only competed two weeks ago at De la Riva, so you'd think I would have learned most of my weaknesses. Not so much. ;) Only, at this tournament, my biggest weakness was my mental game, not my physical game.

Having said that, here are the results. No-gi was first. I managed to take 1st place!! :) Here are a couple of my fights:

First no-gi fight. My camera battery runs out right at the end, but I did win this match.

Second no-gi match. Glad I dropped down to 134! This girl felt so light after rolling with the heavy guys in my class.

There were only five girls competing in gi. This is the same girl I fought in my first match in no-gi. And I lost. This is where the mental failure came in for me.

I am still kicking myself for this fight. My head was not in the right place when I walked onto the mat. It's hard to explain what happened. When I went into no-gi, I was actually not that nervous. I was excited, confident. Then, after I won, for some reason I suddenly got ridiculously nervous. It makes no sense. And then, during that fight, when she passed my guard I panicked. I might have been able to win that fight had I not freaked out and lost focus. Oh well. It happens.

Overall, I am really happy with the way things turned out. Again, learned a lot. One of the main things I need to improve on technically is taking the back when someone is pinning me in half guard. In that last fight, I remember trying to hip out, but I didn't hip out enough.

There's another NAGA coming up in February. I might sit this one out. Not sure yet. But I am going to train as if I am going to participate. My focus between now and then will be the following:

1. Take-downs. I pulled guard in every fight. It was a safe strategy, I guess. But I could get two points and start out on the top. But I could also get injured or taken down myself. Still going to work on take downs.

2. Sweeps. Did a little better with sweeps in this tournament, but still need to get better.

3. Positions!! I am seeing a little improvement with me not sitting in guard the whole time, but my game plan in class will be to pass guard and get side control or mount. I will not stay on bottom all fight long. ;)

Any other suggestions on things I really need to work on?

Here are a few photos:

I have some of the most supportive, awesome coaches on the planet. Here's me and Fabio.

And me and Ben

Here are a lot of the guys and gals from Fabio Novaes BJJ and Brotherhood BJJ, which is a combination of a few local schools.


Dev said...

Congratulations!!! That is so badass. That sword is cool as hell. You looked fantastic. Don't get in your own way. Now you know.

As far as not doing takedowns, don't worry about it. Although if injury is your biggest reason, you really have to kind of get past that fear. An overdone kimura could end your BJJ days as well. If you have actual takedowns as a white or even blue belt, you are a GIANT step ahead of the vast majority of players out there. But there is nothing wrong with pulling guard at our level.

Congrats again!

leslie said...

Yay for swords!

jo said...


Georgette said...

YAY! Whoooohoooooo! So excited for you! That's awesome.

Damn I wish I had your game. I hate pulling guard, hate playing the bottom, have no sweeps, can't take the back from bottom half... wtf :)

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks you guys! I really appreciate all the advice and encouragement from the online BJJers. You guys are great!

A.D. McClish said...

And, Dev, my instructors said the same thing as you. They're going to start helping me learn take-downs. I'll get over my fear once I have the confidence of knowing how to do them correctly, I think. And if not, I'll do it anyway! ;)

A.D. McClish said...

Georgette, it's funny you mentioned taking the back from bottom half guard because I got stuck in the exact position in my last fight. I could NOT take her back or sweep to save my life. One of the higher belts at my school who saw that fight pulled me aside after that match and told me he will be pinning me in half guard when we roll in class to make me learn how to hip out of it and take the back properly. lol

x said...

Congratulations! The videos were great.