So Thursday I flew to Cali for Pan Ams. Apparently Brazilian time starts when you leave on the airplane for a tournament. My flight was a little late landing, and then my rise was late picking me up. Granted that’s not such a big deal, I mean Brazil time is fun. Its much more relaxed.
After an awkward night I went to the tournament, where I found out I no longer had a place to stay for the remainder of my trip. It was a nice little piece of information to be told before I competed. I tried to not think about it but it kind of got to me. I need to work on not letting what other people say get to me. As soon as I stop focusing, it usually ends up badly. Granted telling me oh yea you don’t have a ride, or a place to stay… before competing isn’t helpful either.
Enough of the complaining. I weighed in at 126 with my gi on, a good 3 lbs below where I needed to be. My first match in my division was a girl named Rikako. She is from Japan and she was a good match. She got a sweep on me, I recovered, but never got any points… Near the end of the match she went to throw a triangle and didn’t get it, but the way it ended up, my arm got caught weird, and she submitted with me with a solid armbar. You know it’s a good one when the ref sees you about an hour later, barely speaks English, and comes over to make sure you are alright. He said it bent funny.
After that I had a few hours to wait for my Open division. I was excited because I got to meet Andre Galvao before competing. He was extremely nice, and willingly took a picture with me. I told him about how I moved to from Indiana to Washington right before his seminar in Indiana. And a few weeks before I moved to Washington he had done a seminar out there that I had missed. I would really like to go to one of his seminars, and sooner or later will find a way to go… After meeting Andre, I ended up meeting quite a few of my Facebook friends, and I even got to see some of the people i used to work with through NAGA, that was a nice treat since NAGA doesn’t come to the PAC NW.
Absolute went a little better better for me. My first match was against a female actually from Gracie Barra Seattle. She was in the heavy weight division, but was on the low end of the weight class. It was the full 7 min. which was the first time I’ve had a match go the full length at purple belt. I won on points, was kind of annoyed to see they never gave me back mount and guard passing points, but that’s a decision by the ref. After the match she and I talked and upon finding out we were relatively close to each other, we’re hoping to get together and train occasionally since even though the difference in size is there, it would be great training for the both of us.
My second match was again against Rikako. It was almost the exact same match. She pulled guard and I worked to break guard and pass. it just never happened. She caught another triangle, I escaped and she got the advantage point. That was the only point given the whole match. I look forward to competing with her again. I think that it was a close match and have it on video again.
After competing I met two more people who I’m very happy to have met. Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu, who is my friend Ruben’s coach, and surprisingly a man named Gilberto, who works for Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear. After talking to him about my gi, I mentioned I had posted a review of it. He named my blog and said he had been so excited to read it. I was so happy to hear that piece of new. For some reason it was a good bit of news at the end of the day.
Since I had lost my place to stay for the rest of my trip I ended up getting a ride to the airport and having my flight moved up a few days early. I was very upset to have to leave and not be able to watch the brown and black belts compete. Luckily one of my teammates Brent was able to give me a ride home from the airport. Overall it was a crazy tournament to say the least. It’s lit a fire under my butt. I’ve always been the big fish in a little pond, when I was in the Midwest. Now I have goals to hit and I want to keep progressing and competing at this higher level.