Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BJJ Guy in a Judo Tournament

Well, I'm not entirely a BJJ guy.  Before training in BJJ, I did Judo work for a while and earned the rank of Yonkyu.  Also, my BJJ instructor is a Shodan, and we drill a good many Judo throws as a staple in our work.

I was lumped into an open division with older players of all sizes and experience levels.  That, of course, didn't bode well for me, but I was there for the experience points.  (Judo actually gives points for entering competitions, and such is a factor for promotion.)  Plus, this tournament was nearby and cheap, so Mission Experience and Takedown Focus was a go.

My first match was against a dude that I thought I was stronger than.  He was like a rock and surprised me with his Judo core strength.    (I was nervous, again, and hadn't adequately warmed up; blah, blah, blah.  No excuses, though.)  After a bit of grip fighting, we ended up on the ground as a result of no particular throw.  My opponent took North-South.  (This move has no real point value in BJJ, although passing the guard to get to this position would earn the passer some points, but my opponent did not start in my guard.)  I lost via pin.  It stunk, and I felt pretty badly.  My go-with-the-flow approach didn't work in this case.

My next match also ended in loss but was better.  I felt myself being more calm (not to mentioned warmed up after the first match).  We grip fought a bit, and my opponent (whom I know was a higher rank than I) managed to trip me up and gained top control.  Osaekomi was called, so I had about 25 seconds to escape.  I did so pretty easily and locked up guard on my opponent.  He hunkered down, and the ref stood us up.  I was feeling pretty comfortable on the ground, so I pulled guard and managed a decent scissor sweep, but my opponent based out, and we were soon stood up.

At this point, I felt like I should make more of an effort on my feet, and I put together my best stretch of offense of the whole day.  I went into the day thinking that I would limit my offense to a few basic moves:  ashi harai, ouchi gari, and o soto gari.  I told myself that I would do other throws as they presented themselves, but these would constitute my attacks.  As I watched the day's Judo, I got a little freaked out  with where I saw player's legs ending up.  I abandoned the idea of attacking with ouchi gari.  I feared shooting my leg in between my opponent's and being stuffed and pushed backward putting my knee in an awkward position.  (I'm going to write a separate post about general observations for my Judo experience.)  So, with kouchi gari off of my list, I attacked with a number of ashi harais, and I pushed and pulled nicely.

I pulled guard, but my opponent remained standing; I quickly stood and attempted a couple more attacks before before time ended.  My opponent won with a fractional point from the first trip.  I felt much better about this match.

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