Tuesday, May 15, 2012

US Grappling Charlotte - Full Writeup

We rolled into the hotel after a fairly uneventful drive at almost exactly 3pm. We got settled in and then headed out to the venue to see if we could lend a hand with the setup around 5. We helped Andrew and Mike and the rest of the crew unpack the truck and get the mats rolled out and taped up, then Andrew did a mini Referee certification for me and a couple of other guys. Everything went pretty smoothly despite the venue being somewhat on the creepy side as previously referenced.

The next morning we arrived at about 9:30. I weighed in real quick at 147 fully dressed and the Jennosaurus started helping with table assignments and all that kind of stuff while I changed. The rules meeting went down at about 10:30, and I hit the mats for my first match at 11:03 (Links to all of the matches will be at the end of the writeup). I lost every match this time around, but I did achieve two of my goals.

First goal was not to pull guard in no-gi. I fought from standing until my first opponent pulled halfguard on me, and then with my second opponent until there was a snapdown and we ended up on the ground. Second goal was to make an assessment of what I need to work on, and I did. My bottom game has suffered recently, or at least not kept pace with my top game, because of my focus on that top game. So now I'm lacking in the tools to move from the bottom to the top against the people in my division. So time to start working my sweeps and continuing my halfguard work.

I worked the table between my first and second matches, then started reffing after the second match. I was slightly nervous at first, but after the first match went pretty smoothly I settled into it pretty well. I didn't have any complaints about any of my calls, I didn't have any early stoppages or any controversial decisions, so it was a good day reffing.

My Gi division started about an hour and a half after my last no-gi match and I lost all of those as well, the first one I didn't get on video but I lost by an advantage point in an absolutely boring stalemate. I learned I REALLY need to work on breaking posture. I felt like I absolutely could not break anyone's posture at all.

My last match finished up at about 3:30 and I started reffing again and closed out some white belt divisions, again with no controversy, so that felt good.Of course for one of my matches Andrew came over to coach his guy while I was reffing it, yeah... Head referee is watching your match, no pressure... But it went fine. Everything ran smoothly all day, we had a couple of bracket redraws as people dropped out of divisions and things like that, but they were all accomplished within minutes so the day chugged right along and the last match finished up at about 6pm and we started packing up.

This was, once again, an incredibly smooth tournament with no delays, good communication, and an excellent atmosphere. I STRONGLY recommend attending any USG event that happens near you. If you've been to NAGA or Lutadore before then the smooth operation will be a welcome change of pace for you.

***************Video Links, As Promised**************

Match 1

Match 2

Match 3

Match 4

Friday, May 11, 2012

Denticle Stragety!

So we're out at Cheesecake Factory (Me and the Jennosaurus) doing our pre-tournament dinner, I don't have to cut any weight so I had all kinds of good stuff that I won't list here because I don't want to make anyone cry, and we got to talking about shaving and that developed into pre-tournament shaving strategy. I mentioned that some people like to shave two days out from the tournament to make sure they have a really wicked sandpaper layer up again by tournament time, and she burst out with, "Like Shark Denticles!"
So now that's officially been termed the denticle strategy.

As for USG Charlotte, the venue is... strange. We pulled in and immediately thought we were in the wrong place. It looks like a flea market. We had to turn around and go through the other entrance to get to the exhibit hall type areas. The venue itself is HUGE and well air conditioned. It's really nice on the inside, but totally creepy in a 'hillbilly murder carnival' kind of way on the outside.

We helped out unpacking the truck and setting up the mats and everything and then Andrew gave a few of us our referee seminar. Good stuff and well laid out by Andrew. It's all pretty standard with just a few deviations from IBJJF standard, mostly in the direction of leniency towards DQs for things. We give warnings before DQing someone. Also body triangle from backmount counts as control for the purpose of points, which IBJJF doesn't count. So, a few minor differences, but I feel comfortable scoring going in to tomorrow. This will be the first official points tournaments that I've reffed for so I'm a little more nervous than I usually am pre-tournament, but not much.

I'm planning on getting video of all of my matches this time around and I'm going to try to post them up late saturday night along with a full tournament report. Watch for it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

YAY! I'm Horrible!!

Had an absolutely terrible night last night. Was getting smashed left and right, subbed over and over, my guard was getting passed like crazy. It was great.

I'm definitely hitting a plateau again where I feel like nothing works right. I love these places because it means everyone has figured out my game and is shutting it down so I have to either expand my game, or improve it faster than they are improving their counters to it. These periods are almost always followed within a month or two by a significant improvement in my technique.

Since it's my sweep game that's being shut down the hardest right now I'm hoping my improvement will come there. So time to put in some work on my bottom game again. My top game is tight as hell now though. So that's good. Just gotta go back to work on getting there.