The drive up to VA Beach was about nine and a half hours, most of which the Jennosaurus drove for me because she's awesome. We arrived around 7:45 at the venue and I weighed in real quick just to make it official, fully dressed, with my phone and wallet in my pockets I tipped the scales at a whopping 147. My actual weight the morning of the competition was 142.
We arrived at the venue Saturday morning at about 9:45 am. I had plenty of time to warmup and stretch before the rules meeting, and by 11:30 I was on the mats and grappling.
I jumped over to work a table for a couple of hours until the Gi divisions started, as usual the tables were running smooth as silk with matches constantly running on at least 5 rings out of the 6.
This match again my opponent pulled guard on me, which is starting to become a common thing since I rarely pull guard anymore, but still surprises me. I was able to to cut to halfguard and this time he took the bait and stood up, allowing me to land a serviceable tomoe nage for the points. Unfortunately I screwed up and he managed to get my arm isolated and finish me with a nice straight armlock.
This was against the same guy as my No-Gi match and this time I was able to enforce my top game a little better by using the Gi to control him. I was able to get to his back and secure the collar for a Bow and Arrow choke.
Yup, same guy again, this one was our absolute division I think and it ended up being just us for some reason. He was pretty tired by this time. I pulled guard on him this time, just for kicks, and then we messed around a bit. I hit a sloppy berimbolo and got to mount. I beat him on points here. He went on to do like 5 more matches or something like that in other divisions.
I ended up with a Gold, a Silver, and a Bronze for my efforts, which I'm happy with. Mostly I'm happy that I'm solidly competitive as a purple belt. I could have easily ended up winning both of the matches I lost had I been a little bit smarter about them, so I wasn't outclassed completely or anything, I just wasn't the better man that time, in that match.
As usual the tournament itself was run incredibly smoothly and the last match finished up right around 6 pm. We had the entire venue broken down and packed up in time to head back to the hotel, shower, change, and meet for dinner at 8.
Now I have a few new things to work on, specifically my halfguard top game, and guillotines. Both of my opponents were able to just keep me in halfguard even once I had a position where I normally am able to complete the pass. So plenty to work on from this competition. I did meet my goal of not pulling guard except for my last match where I could have stayed up and let him pull guard, but I wanted to work from the bottom, so I pulled guard first. I hit my tomoe nage, which was a goal, and I felt really good in general. I still don't feel like I'm smooth enough though, so there's that to work on. But a good tournament and a good time.
Oh yeah, and we had to outrun a hurricane heading home. The wind and rain were INSANE.