2014 Ontario Provincial Jiu-Jitsu Championship, 26 before 26, BJJ, BJJ video, brazilian jiu-jitsu, competition, completing goals, emotional geography, gi, goals, grappling, IBJJF, imposter syndrome, judo, mental game, nogi, sense of place, sorting my life out, space, sweep, takedowns, throws, tournaments, winning, wrasslin
I didn’t think I’d finish one of my 26 before 26 goals so soon. I did the Ontario Provincials for BJJ and I won a match in my gi division. Since the tournament is single elimination, that meant that I got to have two matches in the gi, though I lost my second match to the woman I faced at my first tournament, who is very experienced, won all of her matches, and is an amazing jiu-jitsuka. I won the first match by points, which are fairly straightforward. I lost my only nogi match. The tournament followed the IBJJF rules. There are two points for knee on belly, a takedown, or a sweep; three for passing the guard, and four for mount or back control with hooks. I got two points for a takedown at the beginning and two points for a sweep at the end. I had one of my teammates take a video, and you can watch it below. I haven’t uploaded my other matches yet since this one took almost two hours to upload for some reason or other. I might post them later if I have the patience.
I rarely win things, and I guess the feeling of winning is surprising and empowering. The other girls in my division asked me why I looked so surprised, but I held back and didn’t tell them until after I was out after my second match. My coach said I have to be less nice and friendly so that I do better, and I guess he is right about the mental game when it comes to tournaments, though I find it hard not to be that way. Going into the first match I felt so calm and relaxed. I didn’t feel tired or stressed out. I just felt like I could do well, and that I was hopefully going to put up a good fight. As soon as I heard Jeff (the coach) shout that I was up on points, I knew I couldn’t let her pass my guard, and held on exhaustively for what seemed like ages as she struggled to pass. I kept setting her back and she kept pushing forward, but I felt stronger and less tired. I could hear her frustration as she struggled to pass. She changed directions, but by that point (near the end), I had pinched her knees together and ended up (jankily, really) sweeping her and started to work the pass. At that point, the match ended. The ref went to the table for what seemed like ages and I thought for a moment that she’d made a mistake with the points and that I’d lost. But then I meekly went to my place, and she raised my hand, and I held my arms up and wanted to shout so loudly, but I thought, maybe it’s better to be modest.
I felt like I’ve struggled a lot with the idea of winning. I feel like I don’t like to draw attention to myself too much, though, like everyone, I do like to know (quietly) I’m on the right track. I relish in doing something correctly, even with some style. I had a lot of trouble at the first two tournaments with the winning mentality. At the first tournament I tried to force myself to have ‘fire,’ and it didn’t really work. It wasn’t me to be hyper aggressive and I felt a bit fake. At the second tournament, I was hungry (mostly due to making weighthahaha) and maybe even ready, but I felt thrown off when my teammate joined my division at the last minute (though this wasn’t her fault at all, it was all in my own head). For me, I guess it’s difficult to alter my expectations or feelings about a space per se (abstract and emotional space in this sense, let’s get into emotional geographies just for fun). I find it difficult even in my everyday life, like when my space (room, apartment, whatever) has been disturbed in some way, or when something has been done differently than I expect or hope for.
This time, things seemed to go differently, and I felt prepared, despite my excessive friendliness, which I think helped. I didn’t feel very nervous at all. My chest tightened when the division was called, but that tension released as soon as they started running our matches. Even though I went with two new people (the one in gi and the other in nogi, since the second gi match was with someone I faced before), I felt quietly confident and self-assured.
I feel good when I think about it, and I like that I managed to complete one of my yearly goals in (essentially) under a week and a half. I feel more confident in training too, though that may pass. It’s nice to have at least one corner of my life tidy.
I hope that I get to do more tournaments and win some more matches, as even though the match I won featured a takedown, it was not a sweet takedown or throw, so I still have to compete in order to fulfil that goal.