Reflecting on the Chicago Internation Open

Chicago Open. I competed in medium heavy division (153-163) and the open division.

Day before the event I had these incredibly disheartening moments where I just felt completely inadequate. Here I was driving 6+ hours to compete in a pretty big tournament and I just felt like I was in so far over my head. I trained hard, conditioning felt good, but mentally I was a hot disaster.

Day of tournament:
First & foremost I was on cloud nine when I met Hannette Staack & for several reasons. For one, she is my all time favorite grapplers. Period. She is also 7x world champion and 3x ADCC champion, I’m just saying. When asked if she would take a picture she was so genuine and exclaimed “Of course!” I literally could not form complete sentences when she asked me questions about competing. I know I probably sound silly but she is now and will stay my phone background and facebook profile picture lol. Don’t judge me.
My boyfriend Brandon & Coach Josh accompanied on this trip, thank goodness. I don’t think it helped that I was also the only one from our academy competing. It did make a bit sad at times to look around and see giant groups of people doing warm-ups together and embracing each other after their victories. I wasn’t alone per se but it would’ve been nice to have more people there for moral support.

Weight Class
I had one match. Lost 6 to 2. Tied 2 to 2 until the last 15 seconds of the match and she got the points for taking the back. After the match I learned that myself and Ms. Veronica had a lot in common. She was indeed a great competitor and on top of that a really nice person.  I sincerely hope that if I continue to compete in that are I run into more people like her. The match itself was very close. I have so many could’ve/would’ve/should’ve moments but dwelling doesn’t get you anywhere 🙂

So I got second in my weight class. I was so close to cinching that trip to Brazil and it came and went that fast.

In Between Matches:
Found a pretty decent health foods store and snagged some produce. I tried to keep the meals light. We ran into some crazy characters while out on the town. I was hesitant to eat a lot because the rules were unclear as to whether or not I’d have to weigh in again. But after a couple apples, pasta, soup, and an appetizer I somehow magically weighed in a pound lighter.

Open Division
The open division was intimidating. I now know that I should train for the games of the open divisions. The smaller the girl the crazier the guard.
1st match: Me vs. Alliance Girl- She got DQ’d and I have no idea why
2nd match: Me vs. Jill/heavy div. – Won on points. Ref stopped the match a minute early raised my hand and the I got to listen to the table officials go back and forth talking about how keeping the time wasn’t either of their jobs (yeah really professional). They wanted to continue the match which I was fine with, as long as it was from where we were. I went for mount, had a collar grip similar to the bow and arrow and could have finished a variety of ways and she had her legs trapping right at my ankle. Nope. Instead they ran to get the same ref, in which time she had several minutes to recover and then they started us from standing. I wasn’t too pumped about how that went down but I was content with the victory. I got the sweep and passed.
She kept pulling my boob out. No, literally. I know this appears to be a tangent but I just felt that someone should know that she would completely bypass my collar and go straight for an inside grip of my sports bra and pull out zee boob. In fact when the ref raised my hand my it was hanging all out i but luckily my lapel had it covered. Awkward moments but thanks Fighter Girls for the sport’s top  . It held up great against everyone else.
3rd match- semifinals of Open Division
Lost via triangle. Sometimes when people loose you hear a MILLION excuses, “they were a pan champ…oh they train with so-and-so…it was a 4 stripe whatever…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”. I lost that match because her guard was just flat out better than my passing. Learned a bit and was slightly frustrated afterward but it is what it is.


I’ve gained so much confidence about our jiu Jitsu. I think we all get our heads inflated in class but there’s something to having that validation from competing, even in our losses, that is so much more fulfilling. I went into thinking that I was way over my head and now I know that I’m not so far off. In some areas I’m right where I should be, in other areas I just got to tweak a few things. All in all I am so happy that I went and am that much motivated to compete in Atlanta on Sept. 15th.

4 Responses to “Reflecting on the Chicago Internation Open”
  1. Georgette says:

    The boob-extraction — bizarre! Sounds like you had a good time aside from that and learned a lot. Congrats 🙂

  2. demilee90 says:

    I LOOOVE ur blogs cuzzo Hap

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