Monday, October 29, 2012

US Grappling - VA Beach - Full Writeup

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 only had one no-gi match. He pulled guard on me and had a very tight halfguard, I was able to secure a guillotine with the marcello grip, but couldn't finish it. I let it go to try to work something else and he popped to my back and secured the choke. Afterwards I found out the guillotine was closer than I thought. I should have kept the guillotine, changed to a power guillotine grip and used it to force the guard pass or play for a more patient finish. Once again my impatience betrayed me.

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.


  1. It's good that you recognize that you should work on half guard. You may not be focusing on the right thing though.

    I saw many times when you were beat on the underhook, and I didn't a see any attempt to create space and take it back.

    That was a foundational issue, and it didn't look like your posture and pressure was strong enough to counteract that risk.

    If you had gone against opponents who were better in that position, they would have made you pay.

  2. Just wait for the writeup from Henderson. I got wrecked in halfguard by the same guy all day long.