Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Post-Tournament Thoughts

Spent the day reffing and got to watch a good bit of black belt matches and catch up with old friends and familiar faces. 
I lost my first match at weight by points, then my second match by a slick armbar because I was lazy and paid the price for leaving it out there. I had a rematch with my first opponent from my weight class in the first round of the absolute and again lost by points. 
My second match in the absolute I lost by armbar in the closed guard for not squaring up my hips to my opponents'. As usual I have to keep it in perspective rather than make it more than it is: after a four month layoff, I knew parts of my game would be rusty. I'm no Dominic Cruz (haha). There's a fine line between rationalizing losses and mistakes and becoming completely outcome dependent. Obsession with winning and more often (for me) fear of losing can be every bit as detrimental as blaming everything else out there for your loss(es).
  When you train 5-6 days a week, have no other substantive hobbies, enjoying the process isn't always possible but over-internalizing failures makes for a tough, tough road to tow day in and day out. Before my hiatus from jiujitsu I had pretty much hated training 3/4 of the time. Almost every day was a grind for the previous 6 months. It took awhile but come December I missed training and was glad to just be back on the mats again. Burnout and diminishing returns are real phenomena. 

  Silver lining: I stuck to the gameplan. I stayed on my feet and fought for the takedown. I managed to score with some foot sweeps which I'll post shortly but I stuck to my grip fighting, avoided the guard pull until my last match of the day against a much taller opponent, and ignored the quiet voice in my head telling me that we were tired and should just pull guard rather than fight for top position. Win or learn. 
  I'm reffing for Newbreed in Charlotte at the end of the month on the 30th which hopefully means I can go out there a day early and train as well. 
  I'd like to thank my coaches at Gracie Raleigh and my training partners. I felt pretty in shape despite the short turnaround from getting back on the mats in late December and competing midway through January and that is solely due to the tough training in class. I knew I could expect some losses in pursuing a new gameplan and especially after a long layoff, but nothing worth easy is worth doing and the NASA rocket program didn't work on the first try. 


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