I drove up Friday night. The trip took me from about 5pm to about 2am and I slept in my car after arriving. Woke up feeling pretty rested and had some yogurt then hit the awesome Virginia Beach Fieldhouse. Weighed in at 143 with my pants on and could have gotten to 139 without trouble, but not down to 135 which is the next weightclass down.
I spent the morning reffing the No-Gi matches and had a great time. I made no questionable calls and had no upset people, though I was approached by a parent later on about an incident on my mat that I had seen at the time, but chalked up to being an accident.
One of the guys in my division was a younger guy who was very intense, I assumed he was from a wrestling background and was just a little spazzy. He forearm checked another guy in the throat and I said 'watch the contact', but it seemed accidental and I didn't see anything else excessive. However apparently the guys dad on the sidelines was talking about 'doing whatever it takes to win' and several other people had fallen victim to some questionable contact.
The guy who approached me was the father of the guy that had been forearmed in the throat and he wanted to let me know that other people had complained about the guy as well. So, I'm going to keep a more careful eye on this fellow in particular and 'accidental' contact in general next time I ref. We're all here to enjoy ourselves not to turn it into an MMA match.
The divisions went smoothly and I then reffed some of the womens Gi matches where I got to watch Colleen Merullo rep Da Firma Kimonos while collecting some arms. I believe she took double gold, I know she took at least one. The girl is 14 and already a monster on the mats.
At that point I had to go change and get ready for my matches. So, here are the videos. I'll drop some commentary after them.
Match 1 -
Match 3 -
So, as you can see, I got obliterated. After the first 2 minutes of the first match I felt more exhausted than I did after 40 minutes of grappling at the sub only last time. I felt weak and completely overmatched at almost every point in every match. It was terrible. Definitely not a good performance.
I'm at the point where I need to be solidly brown belt in my technique to compete with guys that are 15lbs heavier than I am. They are just too good to be giving up any kind of physical advantage to.
I felt like I never got my game in gear at all. I missed my Tomoe Nage attempts. Couldn't seal the Berimbolo, couldn't complete a scissor sweep, and then couldn't escape mount. Absolutely terrible.
So, I will probably STILL do Richmond, because it's USGs 100th event, but after that I'm going to take a year off from competing in order to train more and hit the gym, spend my competition budget on private lessons or trips to train at different schools, and try to come back in a year both better and stronger.
But, the event was awesome, very smoothly run, the venue was great. As usual US Grappling puts on an awesome tournament.