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!


First Fight:

Second Fight:


7 Responses

  1. By the way, I have read the whole thing and watched the vids! Congrats, too bad about the second fight it finished very quickly, but if you feel he was the better practitioner so be it 🙂

    I’ll post a bigger reply later, I better get to work…


  2. alright here comes my noob feedback

    fight #1

    theres something really annoying me about your takedown. I’ve watched it twenty times but can’t put my finger on it. I think its that you are trying to tackle someone shorter than you and it looks a bit awkward. But its fighting so hey never going to look perfect lol.

    I’m not sure what you could do. Maybe you could reach up and post him at one of his shoulders while your other arm goes for the leg. Maybe it was your own setup (need to get lower or something next time). He did defend it pretty well. And you got to guard after he almost sprawled you, so well done 🙂

    Where I’m learning we are taught to stay more upright in a tackle then do a lifting type tackle, shoulders contribute as the arms pull back. I see lots of people doing the horizontal type tackle and I used to do that in rugby before I hurt my back, they both work.

    Do you think different tackles work better against different heights?

    It was very quick though, ++ points there.

    I saw you knee riding and looking up at the ref, ‘where are my points man!?’


    You had the dominant positions and I saw you looking for a couple of different submissions, but I think you need to commit more to a submission if that makes sense. Always looks like sort of probing but don’t want to go for the submission. Could be nerves and also fighting someone new. My plan is to have a major attacking sequence and a major defensive sequence and to otherwise free-roll. I did see you go for a figure four a few times, thats my major attack from mount or side control, although I’m learning how to go for armbars now.

    You dominated and you won, and you had time to look at the ref lol.

    when you stayed low and kept your weight on his head you stayed in position better. Check out when he bridges you a few times. Towards the end you really used your weight well (I think).

    So theres my noob opinion.

    I’ll review fight #2 tomorrow

  3. Hey dude, thanks for taking the time to write.
    Yes, the takedown was atrocious. I’d be pissed off if I hadn’t known long in advance that my takedown was going to be maximum suckitude. I put my head down and to the side and just flopped at him. It’s OK though. All I really wanted was for him to sprawl so that I could pull him into my guard, which I did. It’s quite difficult for me to get under people (or under their centre of gravity/base) as I am usually much taller than them, so the takedown you suggested is a good one. I need more practice in attacking people’s balance standing up. Curses, I’ve forgotten all my chi sau skills!!

    Yes, you are right, I could have commited more to the submissions. But none of them really felt like they could be finished, I was just probing. He defended quite well, his elbows and arms were in tight to his body all the time. In fact, I shouldn’t even have gone for the armbar when I did. If you notice, I didn’t secure his arm very well at all. If his shoulder hadn’t got injured, and he was better, he would have pulled his arm right out from my legs and been on top.

    It would have only been a matter of time though, I could feel that I wasn’t going to lose that match.

    It’s a good idea to have a plan of attack, a few combos, but of course to be flexible. Mine was the failed hip bump to kimura, then to either finish the kimura or finish the sweep. I ended up getting the sweep in the end, so it worked.

    Anyway, you’ll find it all out for yourself at the comp. Make sure you get video!

  4. I just watched it again and the armbar was better than I thought, actually. I did have it secured.


  5. fight #2

    he used his guard very effectively. I don’t actually like the official ‘breaking the guard’ technique I’ve been taught, I’m trying to find consistent ways of breaking it during wrestling practice.

    I think you did okay but for him being in guard was his good game. He may have crumbled if you got to side control or mount.

    I was going to try to suggest something but I watched the fight again and I would have done the exact same thing as you. I always try to rise up then sink down when I’ve snuck an arm inside the guard, so I would have ended up in the same positions 🙂

    And I noticed a few more subtle things you two were both doing, like where you were both gripping on the gi’s and things.

    He looked very energetic, and I think he difinately looked prepared for your responses.

    Good fight 🙂

    Next time !

  6. WO! SWEET Congrats man you did really well and pulled off some mean moves. Popped on th e arm bar end of the first fight pretty quick too. Nice work. the beginning of the second fight was pretty funny (granted i did ad my own sound effects when i watch these fights mostly jungle and squeeking noises) but yeah theres this funny delay when you both grab each other and your like “right…SHIT!” haha think you did really well though man. Its great that your entering these tournaments looks like so much fun!

  7. Hey, very nice….I saw the videos a while back and now, the second one has been flagged as “explicit content”?? WTF? Great job on the 1st video btw. He wasn’t really extending his arm out so I didn’t think you had that armbar, but you did. Nice!!

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