June 22nd – Kyushu Open BJJ tournament

I’m putting the last competition behind me and looking to the next one.

It’s pretty close.

On the off chance that there are any foreigners in Kyushu who are interested in entering but can’t find the details online, here they are.

Unfortunately you need to be a member of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation of Japan to enter.

Kyushu Open Tournament 2008
Date: June 22
Venue: Kasuya Dome
Price: 5,000 yen before June 6th, 6,000 after

Entry form PDF for “Adult” class here.

I’m hoping I’ll have more luck here. This is the venue where I won my first and only gold medal, at the Ground Impact Grappling tourney last year.

One year ago…

I was competing in last year’s Copa South. I looked at these old videos, and I feel that I have come a long way.

In the first fight, I could feel that I was much stronger than my opponent but lacked the confidence and maybe the finishing skill to go for the finish. I should have submitted him much earlier.

In the second fight I got completely overwhelmed by a very solid Hawaiian guy. I made a big mistake by putting my arm under his leg without attempting to pass, basically giving him the triangle on a plate.

Let’s hope I get a better run at it this year in the blue belt category…

So it begins!

The road to the Copa Paraestra South Japan 2008 Cup is officially underway, with me struggling to fill in all kinds of forms and send stuff off, renewing membership, and all that crap.


I’ve been healthy for a couple of weeks and feeling great, so naturally the universe has decided to floor me with yet another cold. Although! A development! My doctor thinks it’s not actually a cold seeing as it’s ridiculous to catch a cold every week. He gave me some allergy (hayfever) medicine two weeks ago. I was healthy for those two weeks. The medicine ran out a few days ago. My nose is now running like a snot filled tap and my eyes are watering more than a… um… a shark’s butthole. Ergo, the allergy medicine was working and I need more! So I went and got some. Fingers crossed it clears it up again and then I can get into some serious training for the next month.


Kyushu Grappling News

I took a snap of the upcoming schedule for most big grappling / BJJ events in all of Japan. If you can read Japanese, click on the filename for the full size image. It’s over a megabyte.


Here is some schedule information for Kyushu grapplers, in English.

  • The schedule isn’t entirely clear yet, but at either the beginning of April, May or July, there will be a GI (Ground Impact) grappling contest held around Japan, with one of the events being in Kyushu.
  • On May 6th the Copa South (BJJ competition) will be held in Wakamatsu near Kitakyushu. I have entered it the last two  three years running and taken bronze twice. This year, GOLD!
  • The De La Riva Cup will be held on June 8,15,22,29 at various locations around Japan, with Kyushu / Hiroshima being touted as a possible location.


More news for Kyushu grapplers

SHOOTO NEWS:アマ修斗 南九州オープン開催決定。関西フレッシュマン日程変更。

Click on the link for info about a couple of amateur Shooto competitions. As far as I can tell, one is in Miyazaki city, on April 27th. There will also be a BJJ competition on the day.

Automatic translation:

Amateur Osamu To Southern Kyushu opening holding decision. Kansai new
commer schedule change.
The first holding of Southern Kyushu amateur Osamu To opening
tournament formal is decided.
This is received and the schedule of the Kansai new commer tournament
changes as follows.

– Schedule content CT/GT of the event remarks Brazilian Jujutsu one
match is to inquire the hall Miyazaki Prefecture Miyazaki city on the
1st Southern Kyushu amateur Osamu To opening tournament sponsoring
Japan Osamu To society cooperation synthesis combative sports Chikada
gym Sunday, April 27, 2008 in the date holding simultaneously 03-5984-

– Hall Kyoto/PUREBRED Kyoto content CT of the event remarks West
Japan new commer on the 7th Kansai amateur Osamu To new commer
tournament sponsoring Japan Osamu To society April 29, 2008 in the
date (fire/congratulations) is inquired the name change 03-5984-3209.

Original Japanese:

アマ修斗 南九州オープン開催決定。関西フレッシュマン日程変更。




Plan of Action

I want to compete in March.

I want to compete, and I want to win.

It’s far away (an hour and a half drive, I think), and it’s already a quarter of the way through the year, so I have to start my winning ways.

I don’t want to come home without a medal.

So I have just over a month to prepare. My last performance (my first at blue belt), I lost via submission in a few minutes in the first fight, and lost a close match on points in the absolute division. So I have a big leap to make if I want to do well this time.

Where I am at now.
Here’s the situation now. I’m just getting back into regular gear after a few months of on and off training, time off, and illnesses due to the shitty cold weather. I’m about a kilo away from the pena weight limit (up to 70kg with the gi) so losing the weight should be no problem at all. Just cut out deserts, donuts and biscuits for a few weeks.

Conditioning wise, my job teaching kids is hard work, I cycle and walk every day, and even during quiet periods I train a couple of times a week. So not too bad. But, I definitely don’t have the juice to go 110% for the full six minutes, which is my aim.

Strength wise, I’ve been sloppy at using my weights and chin up bar lately, so I’m not as strong as I could be.

Skill wise, I feel I just clawed my way into blue belt by the skin of my eyeballs, but since then, I’ve settled into it. So I believe I’m an average blue for now. I can triangle people and scissors sweep people and armbar people, but if I get caught snoozing I get swept on my butt, my open/spider/butterfly guard needs work and I can only think of about 3 things at a time.

Pumpitude wise, I’m pretty low.

How to fix it.
I’m going to basically headbutt the wall a few times, watch lots of jiu jitsu fights, watch my old jiu jitsu fights, punch some trees in the mouth, kick a few dogs, read some wing chun forums until I get nerd-rage, and generally claw at random passers-by to increase my level of pumpitude.

Jiu jitsu: push myself at all times until I can go for six minutes at a time, all out, maybe five or six times in a row. Attend at least one circuit training class (10 to 11:30pm… yikes.) a week. Judo: keep up the drills and randori on Wednesday nights. Make every push up, sit up and pull up count.

At least twice a week, push myself to use my chin up bar, my free weights and my exercise ball. Stick to basics, fifteen or so reps, 3 or so sets. I’m not exactly trying to be Arnold Stallone here, just a little to improve my strength. That’s along with the usual zillions of pushups and situps at jiu jitsu.

Watch a bunch of fights and instructional DVDs, pick my instructor’s brains, but basically just keep it simple and come up with a gameplan.

Standup work
The Wednesday night judo practice is doing wonders for my confidence. Before, the single scariest thing about competing was the standup. I had no fucking idea what to do. So even though I know I’m not going to judo flip anyone on their head, at least I won’t be quivering with inexperience when the guy yells “combate”.

The gameplan
Watch this space. But basically I am going to work in broad strokes beforehand, and leave the fine details to paint themselves in on the day.

My comp from a few months ago

First blue belt competition. I knew I’d lose, but just wanted to guage the waters.

Result? Deep!

I lost.
No excuses, everyone was way better than me. But I had a great time. It was only my first time as blue belt, so I am not too bothered about the losses. I had a good day.

In the first fight, I only wanted to do one thing… surprise the guy. He was the favourite to win the whole comp, and instead of being timid, I wanted to really go for it. I told my team -I am going to do a surprise move at the beginning of the fight. Just watch!- Man, I could watch the first sweep again and again… 🙂 He choked me out fairly convincingly in the end though. I was seeing stars.

The second fight went a little better, I just lost position towards the end and lost points. I had been going well until then with a couple of nice sweeps. It was a good fight though and he has a lot of experience on me.

I got a good feeling for what it is like to compete at blue belt level, and I got away without any injuries, so all in all, a good day.