Monday, September 15, 2014

US Grappling Chicago Roadtrip Photobomb

It was a long weekend in the books. We met at 530/6am in Durham to ride up to Chicago. We ended up departing by about 715/730am (long story) and began the 12ish hour trek through West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and part of Illinois.

I slept several times as did the other guys and split my time playing on facebook or reading the Steve Jobs biography by Isaacson. We left so early I hadn't checked my weight and suspected I was at least about 3 lbs over.

1st place to my teammate John "Delicious Bagels" Telford and 2nd place for me in the advanced NoGi division

We ended up making it to the hotel and I checked my weight around 830pm, but I had suspicions that it was incorrect, though it estimated I was about 4 lb's over. I had a salad with chicken and slept, waking up according to the scale approximately 2 lbs over.
We got lost on the way to the venue and went 30  min's in the wrong direction but eventually arrived and finished the set-up in progress. I was running on about 10 hours of sleep over the previous two nights and felt less than stellar. Also, I was a bit nervous having never done NoGi Advanced and having not competed in NoGi in any manner in over 3 years.

I began feeling the familiar feeling I used to before doing the NoGi: namely that I just wanted it to be over, but I remembered Donald Cerrone saying in an interview that there are red lights thoughts and green light thoughts. Red light thoughts are self-doubt, insecurity, and in general negative emotions. Instead, before I realized it, I had caught myself and focused on what I would do in the match first. Rather than just go out there with no plan, I decided I would sit to guard and work from bottom as that was where I was most comfortable. I had neither the desire nor the recent training to fight for a protracted takedown and just opted to adopt that as my strategy.
It worked, I beat my first opponent 8-4, despite that I let him dive for a takedown as I sat to guard, starting him off with 2 points. I nearly caught him in a triangle, had some close calls as he stood up to pass/guard break, but eventually butterfly swept into a knee through position, scored some knee on belly points but gave up top position as he did the semi-bench press escape as I raised my hips to garner knee on belly points. My teammate and I handshook it out as we were both beat from the trip and waiting for the Gi. I reffed some NoGi intermediate and 30+ men's matches and would later in the day referee some really, really good blue belt men's matches. They were some of the best matches I saw that day.

CJ Murdock, black belt and MMA fighter

Venue before the start of festivities. It was a long day.

I warmed up for the purple belt featherweight and faced my opponent from the NoGi Division. I can only be honest and say I felt very confident going into the match. I knew with the Gi on I would almost certainly not give up takedown points, and would immediately work to sweep after pulling guard. I did just that and hit a quick butterfly sweep into a cross grip/knee through pass position. I got my underhooks and passed to knee on belly then eventually as he sat up to sit out took his back, later working my way to mount. I threatened with a double lapel choke from the back and several ezekiels from the back. Later he reversed position as I scored knee on belly and I dove for a rolling baseball choke after making way quite ahead on points.

Busy weekend with something like 26 hours in the car. I'm glad I went through another competitive day and conquered some negative self-talk and made my way back into the Advanced NoGi division at it's another avenue to more matches. I got more referee experience and spent time with the awesome folks at US Grappling.
Win or learn. This weekend I got to do some winning after some very hit or miss performances in the first half of 2014 and my first year at purple belt.

1st place to my teammate John "Delicious Bagels" Telford and 2nd for me in the purple belt featherweight
West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana are not my favorite scenic routes through which to travel. I'll just leave it at that.

530/6am meet-up at Cageside MMA HQ/warehouse and Triangle Jiu-Jitsu Academy to begin the 12+ hour ride up to Chicago

with the awesome folks at US Grappling after a 12 some odd hour day
teammate close out with fellow purple belt featherweight John "Delicious Bagels" Telford

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