Fight Report!

Well, it all came together well in the end.

My mangy toe got better. My knee almost got healed, and the weight just dropped off… I ended up weighing in at 68 kilos with the gi on (I had been aiming for 70!)

You can see some photos here, and I am uploading a couple of videos at the moment. Will update this post when they are done.

My friend Carl, who is somewhat of an amateur photographer, took some cool snaps so I will put those up when he gives them to me.

I came third, same as last year. Last year, though, I had three fights, and lost the last. This year I got seeded past the first round, so I only had to win once to get third place. I lost the next fight. As a result, I am not nearly so excited as I was last year. I really felt I could win last year. Unfortunately the level of competition was extremely high (except for my first opponent.)

You’ll see in the second video, the guy just mauled me. It was just a matter of time.

So, what happened? First fight went according to plan. I watched my opponent’s fight before mine (as I was seeded) and to be honest, they didn’t worry me at all. In fact, my nerves disappeared… I knew for a fact I could beat whoever won from that fight. So when the fight came around, I was in a good mood. As you can see in the video, I shot for a weak takedown but basically pulled guard. I tried to sweep him immediately but didn’t set it up properly so I gave up. I closed my guard, then went for the situp sweep, which missed. But a good follow up to the situp sweep is the kimura, which I went for. He sat up to defend it, lost his balance, and I could finish the sweep to mount. Got a few points there. I basically cruised around in the mount for a while. To be honest with you, he really didn’t feel very good, so I am not that happy with the win. Anyway, he squirmed around a bit and I ended up shifting to side control and then knee-on-belly. I looked at the ref waiting for the points for my sweeeeet knee-riding skills, but he didn’t give me any. Bastard. I later found out that it was because I had left a good position (the mount) and moved to a slightly inferior position (knee-ride) and so got the points for the mount but not for the knee. Something to remember! So the guy underneath squirmed around for a while, and I’m winning 10-0, and I can hear my teacher and team-mates sarcastically saying “Quit screwing around with points, you have enough. Now submit him.” Like it’s that easy! So after a couple of attempts I spin onto my back for the armbar. He tapped very quickly, I think I caught his arm and shoulder in some dodgy angle and he didn’t want to get injured. Fair enough.

So I moved onto the third round. Then I find out that my opponent is a fellow foreigner who just choked out his first opponent in about 4.5 seconds. Whoopdedoo. You can see him in the photo album linked to above. I was in the toilet taking my 500th whizz of the day when an American-sounding voice says “Hey, are you Matt?” It’s my opponent and, damn it all to hell, he’s an incredibly nice guy. I ask him if he has any terribly debilitating injuries. He informs me that he does but it’s a secret where. We wish each other luck and I notice that he is built like a shit brickhouse and crap in my pants a little. Later we get out on the mat to fight and my guts figuratively drop out my belly as I realise I don’t really have a gameplan. We start fighting and circle each other. He isn’t attacking at all, so I imagine he is up to something sneaky. When I reach out to grab his lapel and he doesn’t try to stop me, I know I’ve made a mistake, but too late as he leaps and drags me down into a flying armbar. Surprising myself, I manage to escape and posture up… sweet! And then I absent-mindedly put my arm under his leg. Big mistake, that was the beginning of the end. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking. Some kind of guard pass. I believe it’s known as the Gracie Gift… guaranteed to get yourself fucking triangled. Sure enough he capitalised on it. I thought for a second someone had replaced his legs with two giant iron mechanical vices, but no, he was just mega strong. He clamped everything on so tight I almost wanted to tap right there, but I held on. I managed to posture up a few times but he was so persistent. When I let my arm flap out, he grabbed it and started wrenching it up for a shoulder lock. I almost tapped, but rolled to my back as a last-ditch attempt to ease the pressure. It worked, but he got the mount and just changed his angle of attack to a straight armbar. Mega-ouchy, me tappy, me day over.

But damn, he was such a nice guy, it really didn’t feel bad to lose. Plus, he was way, way better than me. I could feel it. He went through to the finals and won a really close match which I don’t think I would have survived in. I was meant to lose this tournament. I don’t have enough experience yet. I have only competed twice in two years, nowhere near enough. Most of these guys are doing three or four a year. So this comp was a wake-up call, with a bronze medal as a bonus.

It was a really great day. There was a good atmosphere within our team. Three or four guys came from the dojo who weren’t even fighting, just to give us support. They even brought their uniforms and rolled around with us or worked techniques. When everyone was warming up, we were the only group (out of about 80 people) to warm up as a team, in a circle. That felt good, it gave us a feeling of family, of being in it together.

All in all it was a great day. The next comp is the All Japans in Tokyo, I think I will skip that. Then G.I. (Ground Impact) Grappling Games or something in July. If all goes well I will do that and hopefully work my way up the medal table!

Osu!!!!

First Fight:

Second Fight:

Plan of Attack

So if the dieting goes well I will be competing next Sunday. I’m going to outline my plan of attack here, to help organise some stuff in my mind.

From standing.
Of course, my standup sucks. Plan for this competition:
Arm drag:
Best case scenario, I arm drag and get behind him. From there, stick my leg out behind his legs and fall to get the takedown and hopefully land in side control. Or if I get a good hold of him, I will drag him forwards, stick my leg out, and put him off balance that way, followed by either standing up and finishing the takedown or doing some kind of terrible de la riva guard. Whatever it is, it is going to be sloppy as hell and I’m going to have to rely on my reactions and instincts, as I just haven’t trained standing enough.

Double leg takedown:
I actually worked on it a little, and pulled off two double legs in training on Thursday, for the first time ever. They felt great, really solid. I dropped low, shot forwards, and completely smashed through the other guys legs. I think the timing has to be perfect though, and I need to catch them when their legs are close together. Could be tough.

Flail about a bit, fall over, and hope I land on top:
Probably my go-to move and the thing most likely to happen.

From side control (top position):
To knee-on-belly for points
To the mount
To north south position to keep control if they are squirming

Collar chokes: My right arm under their right arm and to the collar at the back of the neck, then bring my left forearm across their throat for the choke. Keep pressure on them and keep their face point away so they can’t shrimp.
Baseball choke.
Sideways ezekiel.
Armbar.

From under side control:
Get underhooks and some kind of sweep or back to half guard.
Dodgy triangle followed by sweep – sometimes it works!

From half guard:
Eddie Bravo’s old school sweep
If they are unbalanced, my experimental situp sweep.
Back to guard.

Guard attacks:
Triangle / armbar – remember to snap it on quick.
Saulo Ribeiro’s sweep.
.. maybe it isn’t his but I saw it on his DVD. Secure an arm, plant a foot, and kick up into their armpit, grip their gi below the knee, pushing their leg up to sweep to mount.
Rubber guard?!
Situp sweep
. Pulled this off in the last comp, so it’s possible.
Do NOT let my guard be passed.

Passing the guard
My usual pass... grip the lapels, grip the pants leg, elbow in, turn body and push leg back to break the legs. Then just work on keep my weight on them, getting my leg free, using my head to control their body. Don’t rest until I have passed the guard.

From the mount
Ezekiel
Armbar
Knee-on-belly for points?

From under the mount
Let’s hope this doesn’t happen. Shrimping back to half guard then guard, or large hip bump followed by feet in armpits.

General gameplan:

  • Attack, attack, attack.
  • If I am caught in a bad position, try all my escapes. If that doesn’t work, spazz out big time.
  • Take opportunities quickly but don’t be rash. Only rest when it is good for me and bad for him, ie after I pass the guard, not in his guard.
  • Win.

Works, meet Mr. Spanner. No, no… you stay right there. I’ll throw him at you! NHGYRG!

Spanner in the works, in case you didn’t follow.

Me roll with big Yakuza man.

Him got Yakuza sleeves on him legs and arms.

Me got foot tangled in him tree-trunk legs.

Him spin around quickly.

Me foot go twisty ouch.

Me kneecap go POP

Me hopes and dreams go POP, too.

Actually, it’s not toooo bad. My knee made a fucking loud pop as my foot twisted round a bit too far. It was very scary and painful. Luckily I went straight to the bone-doctor dude, a friend of my BJJ teacher, and he checked it out and said it wasn’t too bad. Taped it up real nice for me. Try not to get too aroused by the picture of hairy manflesh.

Fuck, the day after, it hurt like buggery. Now it’s abated a little. I hope for a speedy recovery. But it’s another thorn in my fucking side, along with a wife who won’t stop feeding me huge delicious meals (I know–my heart bleeds–but I am almost four kilos too heavy now, with only 3 weeks left!) and a constant, nagging kind of cold.

Anyway, I will do my best to rehabilitate the knee, get back into training, and prepare for the comp.

People frum mah gymz, in ur ringz winnin ur fightz

Two peeps from my gym (Paraestra Hakata) won their professional fights recently.

Okumiya and Sugi-pro.

Okumiya I know kind of well, since he speaks really good English (complete with New Zealand bloody accent mate!) and we got pissed up a couple of times at various Paraestra parties.

Here he is. What a handsome chap!

Sugi-pro I only know a little. We sparred once in one of my rare shooto training sessions and naturally he kickalised my bottom.

Anyway, they both won, advancing to the next round of the Shooto Rookie tournament, which is freakin’ sweet. This really is a step up the ladder. If they do well, and get wins in the tournament and go pro, well it’s only a matter of time until they get famous (providing they actually succeed.) Pride generally skims the cream of the crop from Shooto at various points and turns them into superstars (Mach Sakurai, Takanori Gomi, Shinya Aoki, etc. – BE sure to check that last link to see the arm-break in the first few seconds. OUCH!)

Okumiya is a really nice guy, despite his badass exterior… Very humble and friendly. But in the ring or on the mat… Yikes.

You can see the results here.
Scroll down to see our friend flipping the bird at the camera. In his post fight interview, he said he was going for the omoplata (Hello machinemind!) but ended up getting pounded to fuck. He felt nearly unconscious taking those punches, but ended up winning the decision.

He also said that training is incredibly different to competing at a pro level. (I’ve watched them train hard at our gym… they really go at it, but rarely do they actually punch the shit out of each other, especially on the ground.)

I’m going training, WOO!

Some crap-as-hell BJJ

I took my video camera to training the other morning.

Here is the result… ugh, I look like a mildly-annoyed sloth who’s been pulled out of his favourite tree by a short, stubby Japanese man.

Part 1

Part 2

Positives:
– I’m attacking almost all of the time
– Active guard
– Sweeeeet sweep at about 1:27 of the second video

Negatives:
– I attack far too slowly
– Got to tighten things up more
– I got freakin tapped by some craphouse move at the end
– I’m still 2 kilos too heavy for the comp 😦
– I just generally look all around sucky.

Need to somehow figure out how to simultanously tighten up my game without becoming too tense or missing opportunities. Definitely need to attack much faster. And I need to get my endurance and stamina up so that I can just keep attacking for the whole six minutes of the match. As soon as I let my concentration down, or pause to rest, the other guy has a chance to pass or attack. I really want to be attacking for the entire duration of all my matches. If I am defending, I am losing.

The other rolls that session were much better but my teacher didn’t bother filming them. That’s okay, I can live with you guys seeing my crapness.