No, that’s not a catchy entrance sign for your favorite local MMA Pub, it’s the theme of my recent experience at my first ever grappling tournament. The tournament overall was nerve racking for several reasons, none of which had anything to do with the competition aspect of it.
First off, I was not able to cut enough weight to go down the night before and get into a lower weight class. There was a couple reasons for this, including the fact that my family wasn’t as supportive as I would have liked, and a Tornado warning. Nevertheless, I ended up rehydrating and ended up in the 140-149.9 weight division.
I got to the event late, and a ride that should have taken about 2 hours, ended up taking almost 3 hours. When we got there, no one in the car had any money for parking. There were several other slightly aggrevating things like this that happened all before my match even started.
Another thing that kinda threw me off my game a little bit was that I saw one of my old coaches at the competition. We had previously parted ways amicably so there was no hard feelings, but it was just another thing that split my focus a bit.
When my division got called, I ended up going in the second match. I wasn’t nervous at all which was good. The match started, and we were fighting for position to clinch up and try to score a takedown. I had worked hard on my takedown defense and clinch work lately, so I felt ok. At one point my opponent went for a takedown, and missed it because I postured up, and then I narrowly missed a takedown of my own. From there he tried to pull guard, and as he was pulling me down, he poked me in the throat, which threw me off my game a bit, and I ended up forcing him to stand back up.
We clinched a second time and then he pulled guard. All the sudden, I got frazzled and my mind went blank. I was starting to go for a pass but I wasn’t in a good position at all, and I tried to stand up and walked right into an arm bar. I tried to muscle out of it, and probably ended up fighting it a bit too long, because I definitely heard a POP. However it wasn’t a loud pop, which is good. There is some inflamation in my arm today and a little pain, but I am hopeful that I will be better in a few days.
The results aren’t posted up yet on Nagafighter.com so I don’t know where my opponent finished, but I will find out in a few days. I should also have the video footage of my match up at some point. Even though it sucks!
There are several things that I learned from this experience.
1) I need to spend a lot more time rolling with guys my own size/experience level, or slightly above me.
2) I need to spend a lot of time working on passing guard.
3) Next time I compete, I need a coach or someone who knows something in my corner. That makes a big help.
4) I need to learn to tap earlier.
Stop back in a few days and the video will be here: