Grapplers Quest Columbus, OH results: 1st Blue Belt Gi, 1st No gi Absolute, 2nd No gi weight class


“Even if I didn’t have what it took to be on top, I still had to try.  I had to learn the true meaning of sacrifice to get where I wanted to be.”-Marcelo Garcia

Grapplers Quest was an incredibly insightful event. After that event I have a much deeper understanding of what it means to compete, commit, and specifically what it takes to come out on top. From Bowling Green to Columbus, OH it’s about 5 ½ hrs by car. We drove up Friday and proceeded to weigh ins at the Ultimate Sports Center. First let me say that the venue itself was quite impressive. It had more than enough space to accommodate the event and even though the mats were set up there were 3 volleyball games and a basketball game commencing with tons of room to spare. There were no issues with registration and the weigh in process went smoothly. My division cut off was 159.9 and I gorged myself on the ride and weighed in a few pounds below the limit.

I registered for the Blue Belt Gi 140.0-159.9 & Intermediate (2 yrs) No Gi & Intermediate absolute

I participated in all the above divisions with the exception of my weight class I was bumped up to advance no gi.

My matches mentally were extremely tough. My first match I got the takedown and was too hasty in my guard passing, made a simple mistake that caused a loss. So I lost my first division and tried to channel my disappointment elsewhere. I tried to remind myself that the tournament wasn’t over yet.  By the end of the day I had 5 matches. I’ve never had that many matches in one day or faced such a variety of female competitors. I remember thinking that it was by far the most physically demanding thing I’d ever participated in.  With 6 minutes matches, going 150% most won by points it was very demanding.

This morning I watched my matches and I felt many things. I felt relief, disbelief, disappointment, and triumph all at the same time. I lost my first two matches which cost me the division in the no gi weight division and I remember how awful I felt and I knew I couldn’t have looked good but looking back on the matches it wasn’t as dreadful as I recalled but nevertheless there are so many things I need to work on. It comforts me to watch them and from the outside looking in see that they were both “winnable” matches. But during them it felt like I was fighting to the death. I can’t begin to describe my mental state after my first two matches and two straight losses for that matter. I’m a “slow-starter” and I plan to work on that diligently these next few months.   The larger tournament scene was a bit different.  The tournament itself competitor wise wasn’t as large as I had anticipated.  There was a decent showing but I have a feeling the registration prices kept many from competing in multiple divisions or competing in general.  The kids division came and it went and for the most part all of my divisions were run according to schedule.  There were a few changes but I must say I was impressed by their willingness to let you get your money’s worth.  Even though the registration prices are a little steep they were incredibly willing to let you compete several times which was wonderful. In my no gi division there were only two of us and they let us grapple twice which was awesome. My teammate Sara’s name wasn’t called for her division so they ran the division completely over, which again was awesome.

I’d rather not comment or complain on referees.  I feel like after watching matches for hours on end I’d be bound to overlook a point or two as well. Although I didn’t appreciate that I had to say something about the girl trying to heel hook me in the blue belt gi division. That is definitely something that should have been a huge red flag.

QUICK RECAP OF MATCHES

NO GI ADVANCED-2nd

Lost triangle/lost advantage

NO GI ABSOLUTE-1st

Won rear naked choke/ Won points

BLUE BELT GI 140-159.9- 1st

At the end of the day I felt that I truly earned my medals. I fought, I scored, I hesitated, but above all else I tried and I’m so happy that I went. For each of us that went we were tested on so many different levels whether it was emotionally, physically, or on another personal front there were many realizations made yesterday. The biggest realization was how much work is required to succeed at such tournament. Both Shannon and I talk regularly of competing on a larger stage and Saturday we found ourselves questioning our motivation big time.  I can’t speak for her but for me it’s just something I want to do. I’m well aware of what it takes and I just want to know that I am in fact capable of A. working that hard, B. pushing myself to accomplish such a feat. I have an INCREDIBLE amount of respect for all ladies that train and especially the ones that are on the competition scene. That ish is no joke!

One thing I realized is that I am in no way special and I need to stop training like I am.  What I mean by that is I am not the only girl training at a predominantly male gym whom is hyper flexible and able to take a few busted lips and bruises. One thing we all have to realize is that in a sense we are not special. There are hundreds of girls just like me who love Jiu Jitsu.  Saturday I got a big dose of that.  I have to approach training that the person across me has worked just as hard and wants that submission just as bad as I do.  I think if I can remember that than I can definitely work on being more aggressive and find a way out of being a “slow starter”.

Notable moments:

-I was pleased to run into some of the guys I had trained with at Relson Gracie school in Westerville, Ohio.

-I know it’s evil and spiteful but I cannot begin to describe how happy I was to beat one opponent. I think it’s incredibly distasteful to talk during matches and she wouldn’t shut up.  During our second match I literally had to tell her to shut up. One of my teammates went against her as well and said she did the same thing during their match.

-The best part for me was the end.  Everyone finished their division and we gathered together to take pictures, I began packing my stuff and when I looked at the entrance I saw my family had come to support me (SURPRISE!!). Granted they were pretty late but still the gesture was overwhelming.

Overall it was a wonderful weekend.  If you ever have a chance to compete at a Grapplers Quest event I would highly recommend it.  A good rule of thumb, if someone is willing to invest that type of money on entering the tournament then there’s a good chance that they too are a committed grappler.  Once again big thanks to Brian Cimins for making the experience possible.

September 29,2012 i’m going to New York to compete at the Pans…in the bjj world this is a pretty big deal. But I NEED your help.

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Comments
6 Responses to “Grapplers Quest Columbus, OH results: 1st Blue Belt Gi, 1st No gi Absolute, 2nd No gi weight class”
  1. SavageKitsune says:

    One thing I realized is that I am in no way special and I need to stop training like I am. What I mean by that is I am not the only girl training at a predominantly male gym whom is hyper flexible and able to take a few busted lips and bruises. One thing we all have to realize is that in a sense we are not special. There are hundreds of girls just like me who love Jiu Jitsu. Saturday I got a big dose of that. I have to approach training that the person across me has worked just as hard and wants that submission just as bad as I do.
    ———–
    I think that is a sobering reality check all women experience in their first few years of competing. I was wondering if fighting women my size would be easy, since I was so accustomed to my practice opponents always being a lot bigger and stronger. Luckily the blogosphere told me to not get too cocky, because I’d read other female BJJ bloggers wondering the same thing before their first comps and then getting that exact same reality check! So when it checked me in turn, it was still a bit of a shock, but I had had fair warning!

  2. shakiaharris says:

    there were knees everywhere, they move way faster than a lot of the guys I’m used to rolling. yesterday had to tell the guys under no circumstances to go easy.

  3. SavageKitsune says:

    I find that I often have to push subs (esp armbars and other things that involve the shoulders) much further to get the women to tap, because most of them are much more flexible than the average male opponent. Also, when I think I have them trapped, they can squirm out (same reason).

    • shakiaharris says:

      exactly!! I do the same thing I’ll hold on (if i’m defending) long enough to make the person rethink the sub and go for something else even if it is close. Now when I roll w/ other girls with that in mind I’m just more persisten w/ certain subs.

      • SavageKitsune says:

        It’s not only that, but it really forces you to try to THINK AHEAD.

        Number one: I do not crank subs, in fact I tend to err a bit on the other side of the scale- I put them on kinda slow and careful. With some of the women, the extra time it takes to push the sub as far as it needs to go to get them to tap, they have about a year to escape. And they do. 😦 Now I try to crank the subs harder and faster up to the point where I’d expect a guy to tap- then pause and push more carefully the extra bit.

        Number two: I have on occasion pushed a sub as far as I am able to push it in my current position, and she STILL ain’t tapping. I have to actually change position to get leverage to push it further. (Kimuras and keylocks, usually). Then sometimes she escapes while I’m trying to change position so that I can complete the sub. Now I’m trying to keep that in mind when I first get into position for a sub- I have to try to plan for that extra room.

        It really does take a totally different strategy in some respects.

      • shakiaharris says:

        every little detail matters

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