Chapter 11

21 Oct

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Part 6: Tournament Fighter III, World Warrior

After the 2nd place rank, I went up to orange with two stripes. Suffice to say, I was pleased. Things at the school were pretty normal; every Tuesday Thursday, I’d do my hour of BJJ, go home, lather rinse repeat infinity. Except, lo and behold, he has added a new class on Wednesday. Not only that, but it was an hour of nothing but SPARRING. Yes ladies and gentlemen, nothing but sparring. I feel that it was during this time that I became the best at my BJJ game. I learned a lot from the other people, more so from the instructor. I could feel it becoming more like an expensive club than a school environment. The collective conscious would introduce moves into the BJJ market; if it was good, the value would skyrocket, until someone brought in a counter, in which the techniques value would plummet. It was a very good pace.

The instructor informed me of yet another upcoming tournament. It was slightly confusing; it wasn’t time for another Smackdown in H-Town. Instead, he told me it was something even grander than that. Professor Silverio Guerra was hosting “The Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame’s 7th Annual Grappling World Championships”. I was excited. This was no normal tournament; it was a world championship, and done by the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame? Holy jesus christ! Not just the world hall of fame, no, the universe’s hall of fame. I trained diligently the following week (Yes, only a weeks notice for such a monumental event!), and entered the tournament.

My little brother and I arrive early, and weigh in. At 14 years old, I was a hefty 189. Pretty rough considering I’d added an extra hour each week of nothing but bad ass sparring. My little brother weighs in as well, and we wait. The competition looks…well, nonexistant at this point. I sit in a very large hotel conference room, half for grappling, half for some kind of Kuk Sool Won esque tournament. The other side was doing considerably better; kids of all ages had shown up, as had grown ups. Perhaps 2003 wasn’t the best year for BJJ.

I was about an hour and half early for the tournament, and wait. During this time, very few other people show up; Curry from my school, two wrestlers (I had learned to spot them by their warm ups, and the fact they always wear whitebelts), a girl with humongous bosoms, and an amazingly old man with some kind of kwanza-esque belt.

The Kwanza-belt, who I shall refer to as “Professor”, is Professor Guerra. He tells us that not as many people showed up as expected, so they were mixing all of the weight classes into one giant pop. This was pretty unfortunate, because one of the wrestlers were about 20 pounds heavier than in addition to being nearly solid muscle, while looking 17 years old. He also tells us we aren’t being judged on points, but on aggression and clean technique. I don’t like this.

The tournament begins with me facing the younger, lankier wrestler. I get taken down, but make an ingenious guard sweep, we scramble, and I attain side mount. I crush his chest with my superior weight and take the life out of him. I knee on the stomach, which he foolishly pushes on. I armbar for the win.

My friend Curry, however, does not do as well. Larger wrestler man handles him, and submits with an arm and neck choke.

I’m fighting for first place, while Curry fights the man I just beat. We square off, and he takes me down with ease. I’m regretting the fact our instructor never goes over take downs than once a month, and forces us to start on the knees 99/100 times.

He’s in my guard, and tries the old “push down on knee with both hands”. Little did he know that in my school, the guard was 80% of everything we did, which meant my thighs had built up tremendous strength in response to pressure. I still have this to some extent; my thighs are still strong, and unless you know how to properly pass, you will have a rough time.

After pulling his elbows in to off balance him multiple times (Thanks to mma bittorrent site for the downloaded video), I make for a sweep. It’s messy, but I somehow end up in his guard. He closes his legs like a vice, and holds his arms around my back. This continues for the rest of the match. Finally the timer sounds, and the match is over.

They stand us up, and take both of our hands. They raise them both and say, “Good job to both of you”, then the agony begins. It feels like hours, but I wait for them to lower his hand.

They lower mine.

By my calculation, point wise, I was the better man. Aggression wise, I should’ve won, because he spent 2 out of 3 minutes hugging me, and I spent 45 of those non hugging seconds off balancing/sweeping him. I ask the judges how they came to that conclusion.

“He was defending aggressively.”

What the hell is this bull crap?

I feel cheated of my hundred dollar entry fee. I sit down pissed off, when they tell me I have to fight for 2nd place. Apparently my friend Curry had won as well. I was a little pissed off I had to fight for 2nd place that I had already won, but so it goes.

The match begins, and Curry and I circle each other. I score a takedown, and get to sidemount. He squirms around, but I stay tight until I have a chance to grab mount, which I do. I go for a shoulder lock, but he elbow escapes into guard. This back and forth happens for the duration of the match. We both stand back up, and the judges raise both our arms. I’m angry and nervous at the same time.

“We need one more round!”

Jesus tapdancing bedwetting castrating molesting christ! I’ve just finished with wrestler guy, then Curry, now Curry again? I’m not a machine, damn it!

They tell us that this is going to be heavily based on aggression. If they want aggression, well, they’re going to get it.

The match begins, and I immediately shoot. His sprawl is slow, I step one leg up, hike him on my shoulder, and plow him. I aggressively pass his guard, and quickly slide to sidemount again. I push his legs aside and slam my leg down for the mount. Quick, like a squirrel, I paw at his hands to mask when my real push is coming for a shoulder lock. I push an arm down, but he grabs it with his other hand. I go for an armbar against his grabbing hand, but I can’t quite finish it. We spend the rest of the match fighting for that armbar; my legs have him pinned, but my arms are too tired to pull his apart.

We stand, and I get the win. I got, what I felt, cheated into a 2nd place position. I still feel like I was the better aggressor in the wrestler match, but I guess that is how all people who lose by decision feel.

My little brother, for those who were interested, won first. Two kids showed up who were about 5 and 6, while my brother was 6. His skill was pretty decent; I had been showing him moves on the side. He won his first by guillotine; he lifted the 6 year old off the ground. The 5 year old didn’t stand a chance.

After the boy’s competition, they invited Curry, 3rd place, to wrestle with the girl in a kind of co-ed thing. I declined, because A) I was tired, and B) I didn’t want to lose to a girl while tired. Call me sexist, but I was 14 and manly.

It was hilarious to watch; Curry was trying his best not to touch her breasts, but she kept saying he was. I never actually saw hand to breast contact, which is unfortunate. If you’re going to get called a boob grabber, well, you might as well grab one for the hell of it.


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