Well, I didn’t get subbed in the first fifteen seconds. That was my worst fear, and I dodged it, so I’ll survive.
The Seattle Open tournament didn’t go too well for me. There were a total of THREE (!!!) women signed up…. one white belt and two blues. Sabrina was the white. Good for her- props for guts. I wish I had been able to talk JM and JB into signing up. Either of them would have pulped Sabrina with both arms and one leg tied behind their backs, and then would have given us all a great show of BJJ technique while they duked it out for the gold. But Sabrina was the one to step up, so a round of virtual applause for her. I saw Bianca, Sonia and Bree there, all in street clothes, so I knew none of them were in. Wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or disappointed- the devil you know, and all.
My competition intimidated me right off the bat by having three stripes on her belt as well as a big patch on the back of her gi jacket that said "COACH". It was obvious that she had a lot more experience than me. I was pretty nervous. There were a lot of people watching, and Rodrigo, Carlos and Cindy were all ringside…. I felt like a squab in a pressure cooker. The worst part was the dinking around waiting to get started once we were called up…. waiting for the ref to get in place, tying the red belt on, etc. I thought I was going to wet myself. She was studiously avoiding looking at me, so it was kind of awkward. I was trying to not look at the crowd, because that was just making me more nervous. So there was noplace left to look except at the mat. It looked the same as it always does. Blue.
I’m afraid I didn’t give the crowd a very good show for the only women’s match of the day. I stepped in and grabbed her hard, meaning to try for an aggressive takedown and overwhem her right off the bat, and she pulled guard immediately. I hate that. I’d much rather fight for the takedown, unless it’s somebody I know I can’t take down. So then I was stuck in her guard for a while. She was trying to break my posture down with mixed success. She had better technique than JB/JM, but did not feel as muscularly strong. I pressed her hips down, broke the guard and tried to get my knee in, but she was ready for me- and fast. I was prepared for her to be fast, but DAMN she was really fast- and the next second, I was in a triangle. Razzafrackin….. I stacked her, and that’s where we stayed for a while. She had the triangle on good and tight, but with suboptimal positioning and angle; it wasn’t choking me, but it was restricting my breathing capacity to about 30%. She was hurting too, though- I could tell by her face and her breathing, and I think she actually whimpered at one point. I should have been meaner and placed my forearm on her throat and leaned on it. It occurred to me, but I just didn’t want to be a jerk… besides, I could tell she was already uncomfortable, and I thought my stacking was going to get her to let go. I shifted around a bit to see if I could get my foot in, or over, and suddenly she did the lightning-move thing again, and transitioned to an armbar. It was so fast and good that I could barely follow what was happening. I tried to roll out of it, we rolled twice and then my elbow was screaming and I had to tap. This all sounds like it took forever, but I think it had to be around 1 min (maybe even less). I’m embarrassed, but it coulda been worse. She was good, she deserved the win.
If I have to fight that girl again at the Revolution, I will be ready for the guard-pulling, the ethereal speed, the triangle, and I may just go ahead with that forearm in the throat (or maybe a good crossface would have served as well) if I come to that crossroads of choice again. I hope I will also be less nervous, but I dunno… all those people watching…
I need to get me one of those big "COACH" patches for my gi. That was just scary.
I saw Connor and Ron lose (both good, long, hard fights, though), Hostility Boy win against Benny (fudge), Ben win two, white-belt-Kevin go into overtime, Frank lose, Pat lose, Brandon win. Kaungren was just stepping onto the mat when I got called over to be "on deck", so I missed his fight even though there was plenty of time and I could have still watched (they were hollering at me to get over there). After my match, I hauled ass out of there…. probably would have been educational to stay and watch some more, but I didn’t want the sympathy.
Black-belt-Kevin had come over while I was "on deck" and asked, "You all right?" I said, "Yeah" and he looked closely at me and said, "Are you sure?" So I must have been really pale, or something. He grabbed me as soon as I came off the mat and told me that I had jumped the gun too much with that pass attempt, which I knew. After spending all that time in her guard, I was impatient to get out and do something- and also expecting her to move really fast once we started moving. Kevin said that she had had that triangle- and the armbar transition as well- all set up and waiting for me like a trap to be sprung. I think I was stronger than she was, so I should have tried to stay calm and patient and looked for ways to use that against her. While she had me in guard and kept trying to sit up…. maybe I should have let her keep messing around there for a while and get tired, because I did not feel in danger of being swept, and it wasn’t really tiring to me. Hopefully Cindy took some mental notes that she will remember for next time I see her… I should have gone for her feedback right after, but I didn’t want to face her right then.
The new school is one big room with four different mat spaces. It was warm in there, but there were a lot of people… hopefully it won’t be that warm under normal class conditions. I don’t know what it’s going to be like with multiple classes going on simultaneously- it may be distracting and difficult to hear. There is a nice big women’s changing area, to my relief. Only two bathrooms- there was a long line- but that’s an improvement on the one bathroom we had before. I’d like to see three or four bathrooms, but this is progress.
I googled my opponent- This is her, kicking some poor guy’s ass.
And again- same MO:
She also took 2nd at the 2010 Mundials, and first at the PanAms. Okay, not feeling quite so bad now.