I finally find a comp that I feel I can be competitive in. The Hereford ground grappling comp, aimed specifically at beginners, minimum of 2 fights, only £15, starting from knees. Ace, only slight concern is its very far away and uses an odd ruleset to accomodate other grappling arts competing, including leg locks!. Oh the fear of leg locks, Andy understands our concern and shows us kneebar, and straight achiles lock and more importantly how to defend. I understand why he doesnt want us jumping for kneebars when we are still learning on how to pass guard. I manage to organise a lift and one fine very early Saturday morning and we head off. The party consists of myself, Dean (the driver), Deans danish girlfriend who inflicts swedish pop on us, Matt and Oliver Geddes. Ollie is a blue belt (now purple!) from Roger Gracies and seems to know my Andy quite well, turns out he is a competition machine. We fire questions at him like a gattling machine gun.
Many, many hours later we get there. Me and Matt both enter the under 71 (without gi), Dean enters the under 81 I think, Ollie is under very humorous instructions to fight in a seperate category to us. Funnily enough its open belt, no belt categories.
Im pretty nervous, although familiar with comps from when I trained judo, still its been a long long time. I decide just to meet as many people as I can and to have a good time.
My name gets called and I face a guy I reckon I can take, as mentioned before we start from knees. We slap hands and get to it. As normal I try go for a headlock/hip move where I can muscle myself into side control/scarfhold. It works, but the rules indicate I have to hold a position for 15 seconds to get points!. He escapes, we scramble, I get side control again, he escapes, we scramble, I get mount!. He upa's me over and is rewarded 2 points...., his dead tired but I cant finish him, I try a cross collar choke and he is red in the face but I cant finish. My hands feel like steaks rather than nimble fingers., . Its only a 2 minute round! and it ends. He wins on his 2 point upa into my guard.
Im not happy but Im not that sad either, I saw it as a good fight and learnt alot from it. I really gotta work on holding position!, need to get tighter.
Matt wins his fight in style!
Dean loses his unluckily
Ollie murders his opponent
2nd fight! - I fight a very young lad much lighter than I (weight categories got merged), however id been chatting to him and his twin, they have been studying bjj 6 months longer than I at that point and japanese jujitsu for a few years. We shake hands and get busy. He pulls guard, I decide to use my strength and weight and try crush him using utter bastardness. He is fast and flexible, carries on despite getting stacked and crushed. He throws on an armbar and I tap faster than Gene Kelly on a rainy day. Im out the comp but am feeling good!, Ive really learnt a ton!.
Matt unfortuantly loses his fight to a super fast armbar kid
Dean wins his fight in great style
Ollie is on a rampage, no points against him yet
Dean gets put against a monster who goes from mount to back several times, generally stalling and stacking points but just doing enough to look busy. Not much he can do and is out with me and matt.
Ollie doesnt stop and wins his division with half guard, Ive never seen the like. It essentially looked like he was trying to lose but...won. Easily. Inbetween his fights he rolls with me to keep warm and to give me some pointers. I learn alot. Forget 90% off it, but still use the 10% now. Ollie goes on to win the absolute as well, fighting a very tough pro rugby player in the final, winning by Teepee!.
We celebrate on the drive home with KFC, it makes me drool thinking of it, never tasted better, I lick my fingers...
The comp really hit home how important working on position was, and I have a solid concrete idea on what to improve in the coming months. The drive back seems shorter as we discuss the events. It was an awesome day and I really enjoyed the outing.
Funnily enough one of the first things Ollie asked me (with his beady eye) was if I had a blog, I said no and we complain how silly BJJ blogs are. Little did I know...