Tennessee State Jiu Jitsu Championships….second time’s the charm??

This past weekend I ventured 4 hrs to the Tennessee State BJJ championships in Knoxville, tn for some matches and to gauge my progress on the mat. Shannon and I rode with our coach Josh and of course my auto anxiety was put to the test but we got to “bond” as well.  We get to the tournament, the usual chaotic environment, miniature people in miniature gis and everyone scrambling to find out who’s competing where, when, and against who.

We had gotten there with what we had assumed was just enough time to change and get on the mat..but it’s a tournament..those things never start when they’re supposed to but it ended up working for us since we were a tad off schedule.

I hadn’t gotten a taste of the tenn bjj scene much with the exception of the tournament I did back in july and this was an interesting occasion.  There were many schools and the competitors weren’t nearly as friendly this time. I dunno maybe it was something in the air.  First up the children, and as I grimaced listening to the parents encourage their children to ignore taps and rip off limbs of small children I did enjoy watching the young girls enjoy themselves and display some impressive techniques.

The tournament starts and Shannon and I are searching for hopeful glimpses of women with even a tinge of blue on their belt. nothing. More time passes and then we glanced at each other with approving glances like “well looks like it’s just going to be us again..” and as they called our division to the mat we were relieved to see that there was one other girl in our division.  She was larger than Shannon and I but we knew that weight classes would be ignored with our division.

First match, I’m up.

Match went 6 minutes, scored 2-2, she got a takedown and I got a sweep…went to 2 min overtime..only instead of going straight into overtime the ref didn’t call our overtime match until 5-10 minutes later….

2 min overtime, 0-0, came to refs decision and ref went in her favor

2nd match, Shannon & i (that’s just how the “bracket” fell) wasn’t too happy about going against Shannon as her first match, felt really weird to be honest, but we had a fun roll. Before the match started the ref asked if we were going to play around or roll and I gave him a puzzled look.  We had a fun roll, just like when we’re at the gym, went back and forth through lots of positions, she took my back and scored much more points than I, Shannon advances.

Shannon’s 2nd match

shannon gets 1st in gi, i got 3rd.

arebalo's in the blue gi

Then it was time for the blackbelt super fights and our own Adam Arebelo participated in his first “superfight” and it was very entertaining. His butterfly guard looked very sharp and he won on points.  We waited several hours before deciding that we were ready to take our chances and head home without doing no gi and sure enough our division is called.  As a sidenote I will mention by this time my foot looks like Frankenstein and I looked all kinds of crippled with my foot being heavily taped.  I bruised it something terrible during my first match and limped my way off the mat.  But with the drive and money in mind I was going to do the nogi division.  First match I’m up.  Luckily the puzzle mats were thick and uber soft so my foot didn’t hurt too much, the girl I went against was very tall.  I shot in for a double leg, worked to mount and then finished with a farside armbar. Felt good.

Shannon also faced the same girl as I and won with a kimura.

Shannon and I meet again..I shot for several takedowns and we went back and forth, I’d imagine the audience enjoyed the match quite much.  I ended up with the win via points.  Nogi I got 1st, shannon 2nd.  By this time I cannot walk with flip flops as my foot is SAD.

Overall I’m glad I went. I got to meet Aparna which was a nice surprise to place a face/voice with the name.  She was very friendly and we seem to have a similar sense of humor so that was nice.  I hope she had a good time, sucks she couldn’t compete but maybe next time.

After my last tournament (my 1st blue belt tourny) i was very disheartened, doubted myself, and worried if I’d ever “have enough” technique to compete at a world level.  Now i feel as if I know a lot of techniques I just have to find the best way for them to fit to my game and develop a better gameplan.  I know it sounds strange but in no gi I know exactly what I want to do from takedown to finish but in gi it’s gets a little hazier and I’m definitely going to work the next few months to fix that. I’m excited and hopeful, after my first match I had a brief moment of “what am I doing here?” but that moment passed quick because she did not pass my guard (enough to get points), I controlled her well, and I did not get submitted, and most importantly I don’t feel as if I embarrassed myself, like I did that last tournament. Emotionally I’m in a better place.

Overall I feel like I’m better at controlling my opponent but I have to be more aggressive in the gi.  For now though I’ll focus on preparing for my fight on Nov. 19th but I have to find a way to kick my Triple Chocolate Drumstick Ice Cream addiction, I just ate three and I’m still not satisfied…Oooh noooo.

One Response to “Tennessee State Jiu Jitsu Championships….second time’s the charm??”
  1. Aparna says:

    I totally wish I could compete…actually I’m thinking about doing one soon even if I can’t really prepare, just for funsies. I probably wouldn’t even have someone withint twenty pounds of me (it would have been at least thirty if I competed last week), but what the hey–I deal with that anyways regularly.

    I guess I wasn’t close enough to the mats to hear what the parents were saying, but it seemed like the kids themselves were being good sports. But like I said, I didn’t hear what was being said. I really don’t remember much about kids’ matches from other tournaments, but it sounds pretty standard–there’s always going to be a set of parents who live competitively through their children.

    I thought you did really well in your match, and even more so when you consider the weight and experience difference. It sucks that you lost to ref decision in overtime–it would have been nice if they could have extended overtime. Hopefully in Nashville you’ll actually be able to compete in your weight bracket–NAGA tourneys are usually bigger, but it’s been my experience that unless you go to IBJJF tournaments, any women’s division above white belt doesn’t have the turnout to even fill out the podium in each weight class. Especially not MY weight class…

    In any case, if you happen to be around Knoxville again for any reason, send me an e-mail or something and maybe we can get in a roll or two.

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