Monday, July 7, 2014

Best of BJJ in 2014 Thus Far - & my own year in review thus far

BJJ Rants did it HERE. Go support them.

It's been an interesting and fun 2014 with having the Worlds, Pro Trials, and Pan Ams all in before the summer even hits.
We're lucky to have some other mid-level-ish events popping up with the likes of Dream, KO Finisher, and others and it's hard to complain with the internet and streaming and events viewable for something like $10 or 15, or at the outside Metamoris for 30-something if I recall correctly.

It's a great time to be a grappling fan, though, seriously, the competition season could be better spread out rather than having the Pans, Pro Trials, and Worlds all slated in the spring.
We're in a gap year for the ADCC, so that's looming out there, but Metamoris should give us some thrills coming up around the first week in August no matter how long the stretch from IBJJF events in the fall may barely get us by until the spring of 2015 (the Pro League is in October, don't forget!)

I opened the year taking 2nd in the -66kg black belt division at Mayfield's Open in North Carolina.
After having been promoted in December to purple belt/faixa roxa, I competed for the first time at purple belt in a submission only tournament in Greensboro, taking 2nd place to my teammate. Competed in my first points tournament at purple belt in Virginia Beach, and took 3rd after 2 weeks not training due to illness. Recently competed at US Grappling in Richmond and took 2nd at featherweight purple belt, closing it out with my teammate.

2014 very, very likely marks the last time I will compete in Judo under the new rules.

I've been enjoying fighting for the takedown in Jiu-Jitsu, because it's freestyle, no gripping restrictions, no banning of leg grabs or banning of locking the hands around the waist, and it's just a far less restrictive style of play on the feet. My ACL reconstruction took me out of competition as the new rules about DQ'ing for even an obviously inadvertent leg touch results in automatic DQ and the return to competition was a stark contrast to the style of Judo I left before blowing out my knee/tearing my ACL. It's sad/hard to reconcile in my mind that in order to find what feels like Judo on the feet, I have to compete in sport Jiu-Jitsu, but this is the life under the regime of the IJF, IOC, and the all mighty demands of TV viewership friendly styles of play for the Olympics.
The day will come soon when Judo players can't defend a single or double leg to save their lives, and the sport has very little to do on the feet with something resembling a method of self-defense. On the flipside, due to the advent of MMA, the IOC and IJF now finally encourage more mat work and submissions and the like. Irony, oh irony.

There are some big changes coming to my work, living location, and personal life coming in the next few weeks and as they become finalized I will announce them here. I started this blog back in mid 2008, and here we are, 6 years later. I had my last MMA fight in 2011, tore my ACL shortly thereafter, had my knee reconstructed, returned to Judo and Jiu-Jitsu slowly but surely, was promoted to black belt in Judo and purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu:  all during those 6 years.
Thanks for all the support, readership and your time.
I'm wary but excited to see what this upcoming year brings as I face new challenges both on the mats and off. Regardless of what that brings, I'll continue blogging.

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