Sunday, November 8, 2009

De la Riva!!

Me, Stephanie and Phil

Me and Fabio. I love me some Fabio! He's the best!

Our other instructors, Mario (blue belt) and Ben (brown belt). And the other brown belt who trains at Fabio's, Paul. These guys are awesome. Mario and Ben are the ones that really got Stephanie and I into Jiu-jitsu.

So, I survived my first tournament!!

Man, I am so glad I went. De la Riva was small as far as tournaments go--or so I am told. I wouldn't know, considering that this is the only one I've been to--but it definitely gave me a taste for what competitions are like and what I should expect at NAGA.

I fought gi and no gi, and had very different experiences in both. Only 5 girls showed up to the competition, one being myself and another being my best friend and sister-in-law Stephanie. Our school has a policy that our students don't fight each other. Steph and I were more than happy to embrace that policy, but that left us with only 3 competetors.

None of them were in our division as far as amount of time training goes. They were all white belts, but the one with the least amount of experience had been traing for 8 months and had been trained as a kick boxer for several years. She, at least, was in our weight class. The other two outweighed Steph and I by a lot. One of them weighed 209 pounds and had been training over two years.

We fought gi first and I had the unhappy luck to go against the kick boxer girl. She was easily the best out of everyone there and the fight went like this. I pulled guard from take down and tried to get chokes, tried to get an arm bar. But she defended the arm bar and I pulled guard again. Then, evetually, she passed my guard and got side control. I got half guard back, but I could not, for the life of me, sweep her.

That was something that disappointed me in all of my matches. How many sweeps have I learned over the past week? It seems like a million. And how many was I able to pull of at the tournament? Maybe one or two. Booo! ;)

Anyway, the girl won by points. And I didn't get another fight in gi. She was really nice, so I didn't mind losing to her that much. Hopefully I'll get another chance against her in the future. She struck me as someone who would be fun to train with.

After that first fight, I was really demoralized. I almost let it ruin my whole day. But I went off by myself, gave myself a talking to about not having a pity party and came back ready to fight in no-gi. I was really intimidated considering I had already lost to one girl and had seen Steph go against one of the other girls.

But No-gi ended up going a whole lot better for me. My first fight was against a girl who had been training a little over a year and who had about 25 pounds on me. But I was able to get a lot of points for positions and ended up submitting her with an arm bar.

My next fight was against the big girl with 2 years experience. That was a tough fight. But all of my training with Phil--who weighs about the same as that girl and use to weigh more before he dropped weight for the tournament--really paid off!! I was able to breathe even when she was putting all her weight on me and I was able to move out from under her and get side control. I honestly can't remember if I won just by points or by submission. I'll have to go back and watch the video when I go to Steph's house. I know I had her arm and I refused to let go. I just kept repositioning when she moved. I think the time ran out while I was still trying to finish that arm.

My last match was against that same kick boxer girl. I did better my second time against her. Again, I pulled guard. Again she tried to pass. I can't remember if she got side control at any point. Most of the fight was spend with me holding half guard and trying to sweep and her trying to escape half guard and trying to choke me. I was so gassed at the point, it was all I could do just to hold onto half guard. I ended up taking second place in no-gi, so i wasn't that bad.

Endruance training before NAGA, anyone?

The best thing about this tournament is that I learned a lot about what I need to work on:

My takedowns are absolute crap. All I could do was pull guard!

I know sweeps, but I am not executing them correctly. I guess I just don't have the timing down right. I'll be working hard on them in the next two weeks.

As I feared, I relied too much on my guard game. I have to get more comfortable in side control and mount.

But all in all, I am really happy with how things went. Learned a lot. Had a blast seeing my teammates compete. My coahces-- Fabio, Ben and Mario--are so awesome. They were right there screaming at me during the fight, encouraging me, pushing me on. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of Fabio's school.


Dev said...

congrats! you did amazingly well!

Junior Familia said...

you did great!
I learn the most from my losses!
and dont worry so much about whether u played to much guard or not, just fix what went wrong in your guard.

take care!

leslie said...

Good job!

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks you guys!!

Liam H Wandi said...

Congrats congrats. Very well done for a first tourny!

About the sweeps that you couldn't get going, the biggest reason I see people not sweeping (or throwing from standing) is that the sweeps are done on a very stable opponent. Take these two pics of scissor sweeps for example:

I'm sure both can work but the second one just looks so much easier and more higher percentage because the poor victim is out of balance. I know you were working on that KBXr girl from half guard but the principles are the same. Just like Judo folks work kuzushi before the throws. :)

A.D. McClish said...

What is your advice for sweeping when someone is just locking up and defending in guard with a solid base? That's what the main girl I fought was doing. She was doing exactly what she should--keeping low, protecting her throat and trying to break my guard when she could. I couldn't seem to get her off balance.