BJJ, brazilian jiu-jitsu, competition, feelings, female BJJ, gi, grappling, grappling industries, grappling journey, incremental success, judo, nogi, Ontario BJJ tournament, takedowns for life, tournaments, wrasslin
I’m disappointed, or I was. After a progression in my tournament performance that seemed like it reached ever upwards, I hit a wall. I started writing this post soon after the tournament, but I decided to wait and reflect on it some more before expressing my feelings. I want to be honest in this post. I was upset after, but I didn’t show it or at least I tried not to, because my teammates were happy, and I was in a corner of myself so happy for them and their performance. I love being part of a team, and I love to see my teammates do well. All I could feel inside about my performance, though, was shame. I felt like I let the team down, even though I did win one match and get bronze in gi for that (1-2 record for this tournament, 3-12 record total). I feel like these emotions carried over into nogi, and I performed really poorly in that division, and I ended up with silver (by default, as there were two people in the division).
I felt the same way about the competition for days after, but I was afraid to express these feelings. I felt a gloominess hanging over me, and the time between the tournament on Saturday and my return to BJJ class on Monday seemed to stretch on forever. I, of course, slept in on Sunday and forgot about daylight savings time, so I skipped class that day. It was the beginning of weave pass week (at our gym we have themed weeks by position or technique). The weave pass really spoke to me, and as I understood it better as the week passed by and as I managed to complete the pass during rolling, I felt better about my jiu-jitsu. As time passed I felt better about my performance at the tournament, and a bit embarrassed about how fragile I was after, but not embarrassed enough not to joke about it later. I thought maybe I was burnt out, but in reality, I just didn’t have a good day in terms of performance and I let it affect me too much. Having spent the time to reflect on this has really helped me improve both my physical and mental ‘games.’ Doing tournaments, in my mind, only helps me get better in a numerous ways, and I’d recommend it to everyone.
Anyway, enough waffling on about feelings and stuff, I’m going to recap and share some of the photos from the tournament:
Since Grappling Industries has a round robin format, everyone is ‘guaranteed’ four matches. Going into my division, which was called an hour early, I thought I had four. It turned out I didn’t. This made me really irritable after our division finished, because I thought that I honestly had another chance to turn things around, and I really just want to have the maximum amount of matches. I think someone may have dropped our of our division, but still. “Guaranteed” means something different to everyone, I suppose. I may have got mixed up in terms of the order of my matches, but I don’t think it matters that much…
I didn’t feel tired after my matches, excepting my first match in gi where I almost passed out. I thought that I was fine, but then I realised just as I was about to fall asleep that my nose and mouth were completely covered by her gi. I know I need to work on being more aggressive. That being said, I tried to go into the second match with more of it.
I lost my second match on points. I’m going to focus this month on learning better turtle escapes and reversals. My March focus has been practising inversions (inverts?) and I’ve gotten okay at them, though I still need practise. I feel that if I don’t give up my back so much that it will be much harder for me to lose on points. I give away too many back points. My opponent, Kat, posted our match on Facebook, so I’m using her video here:
I did much better in my third match, though it didn’t help my mood. I managed to stay on top for most of the match, but Karin is very skilled and turned the game around so I had to work from closed guard, which I don’t really like very much, since I prefer half guard. She almost got the armbar at the end, and I remember that moment with utmost clarity. Jeff was yelling the time left in the match and everyone was screaming not to tap, but I knew that since I had her leg, that there was plenty of space to turn in and get my arm back (which I had also turned to prevent the armbar).
Nogi really bummed me out, to be honest. I wasn’t looking forward to it because my mind was already foggy and I didn’t feel very good about competing. I decided to suck it up anyway, but I did rather poorly, though in my second match (we did two out of three because there was two of us) I only lost on the back points (again…). Unfortunately, I don’t have a video of those matches, but I do have a podium picture. Ooops.
I actually just competed in another tournament this weekend, so I have yet another long-winded grappling post to write for all of you. I felt much better about this past tournament than Grappling Industries, but sometimes you have to feel badly in order to grow and improve.