Got a lot of questions about my first Brazilian JiuJitsu competition, but since I couldn’t answer them all, here is how it went with my point of view as a coach and athlete. I went in for me, but also to support my athletes and see them live, under pressure.
In the field, they say that a coach cannot be a good athlete and vice versa. Let’s prove them wrong.
The physical preparation worked very well with our training more and more intense until 2 days before the competition. Some injuries were added, but nothing compromising. For myself, one wrist was f**ked, but besides that, I was more than ready.
As I announced, for Team Bodhifit, 3 medals on the wall. I won 3 of my 4 fights and won the Bronze Medal 185lbs and less Masters (30+) White Belt, Andrew Prata Purple Belt Silver Medal in the 185 Masters and less, and Hugo Harland, blue belt silver medal in super absolute 215lbs and under. We had other fighters fighting in the adult category Anthony Spinello (1-4) and John Groulx (2-2).
No one on our team had to cut weight like crazy before competition since I don’t believe in it. I want all the guys to be confortable fighting at that weight a few weeks before, especially in these types of competitions where we have to fight 4 to 6 fights (GI only) depending on how packed the categories are.
We knew our fights were going to be in the afternoon, the Super Absolutes (split with belts, but no weight category) in the morning (hugo) and purple masters as well (Andrew).
The thing is that mine was late (about 1 hour) and was hungry as hell, but adrenalin was the bigger issue.
All white belts on our team mostly remember one thing, our first fight. We went in to break the ice (as they say) and the hell we did. My first fight was horrendous; I lost in less than one minute by choke. I still have trouble swallowing the pill, not because of the choke 😉 but my ego took a hit but hey, great learning experience. Nothing prepares you for this shit I guess but came back and won all my other fights.
The guys used to competitions prepared me well but they also warned me, the first fight is (supposedly) the worst. Stress is way high and you have a hard time grasping what you need to do, or at least, realizing that it’s do or die. There is two different scenarios, you go all out and dead a minute into the fight, or you go like I did, too slow, trying to focus on not gasing out. I went too slow, thought I wasn’t in trouble, but it went from all fine, to lights out very quickly…
I thought I was prepared for that, but ohhh when the shit hit the fan…
Fights were 5 minutes for all categories. Even though you prepare for it, nothing can prepare you for the all or nothing that all the white belts tend to do in their matches, throwing all they know (me included) out the window. Making crazy mistakes or just not moving at all to preserve points. That’s the game. You could be rolling and moving for 2 minutes throwing your opponent around like a madman, or he could pull guard in the first few seconds and spend 4 minutes and 50 seconds trying to get of his damn guard if he is a strong SOB. You just never know how it goes, mainly in the first fights. As you watch some of them go, you can figure out their game and prepare for it if you fight them later on.
We learned a lot from this experience. We were going in to break the ice, and I got out with a bronze medal. Can’t wait to see what the next one will bring. I will change how I train energy systems to get the most out of the adrenalin rush. As for the strength and conditioning, I’m pretty satisfied with what we have accomplished.
We already have set 2 dates, January 27th in lake George for Grappling industries and march 3rd with the North American Grappling Association, which have different rules. Already in prep mode, drilling, rolling, shark tanks and 10 by 10’s waiting for us. Might write a few updates along the way.
Thanks for taking the time to read.