Tournament breakdown



After the Revolution, I ate nothing but pizza and cupcakes for the next 24 hours.  -Side Control


So there was a full bracket of small white belt women, Plus a three-stripe blue belt and me. I wondered if they were going to refund me or give me a “Highlander Medal” (Thanks Julia), but they put the blue and me together. She was less than half my age and a titch heavier, so it actually seemed to be a pretty fair match, considering all. (In fact she almost got DQ’ed for no-gi… she was supposed to be under 136, and she was *AT* 136 even though their scale seemed to be weighing about 1.5 lb light. If the bracket hadn’t been sparse, they probably would have cut her.)

We chatted a little beforehand- which always helps my nerves; sometimes some of the girls are scary and intimidating and you don’t know what to expect from them. We both admitted that we weren’t into leglocks and wacky stuff, and I think we reassured one another that we weren’t going to try to rip one another’s heads off.

We fought a 7-min timed match with no subs- this was called a tie. I figured out that she likes to play guard and go for armbars from guard. Then they put us in the elevated ring and we fought again, no time limits. OMFG! That was so weird. I could hear the announcer yelling on the loudspeaker to the entire building, to come watch The Experienced Women In the Ring show us What This Is All About, no time limits, sub only!!!! Good Lord.

It felt like we fought for hours. I know it was at least 8 min, because her coach’s phone video timed out at 7 mins. I tried twice to tomoe nage her- was able to transport her to the opposite side of the ring, but not get her belly-up- each ended in a scramble. Eventually she got me in her closed guard, after a bit I managed to pass to side control, and that’s where we spent the remainder of the match. She made several valiant attempts to remove me, including a few that nearly worked. I tried keylocks, chokes and armbars from the side, and was getting nuttin’. I must have tried eight keylocks. I finally had a keylock on real nice, she was well pinned, and Cindy was talking me through adjusting it- but I pulled it to the extreme and she wasn’t tapping- so I finally decided that she (like Sonia) just had hyperflexible shoulder and could not be keylocked. Gonna have to choke this chick. At this point I was getting kind of frustrated, and it seemed like a good idea to try front mount (even though I could hear Cindy and Casey yelling at me to not mount- and I should have listened, because I can’t hold front mount and my subs from there are worse than my subs from side control). As soon as I moved to front mount, I heard her coach say calmly, “Okay Hadley, you know what to do from here.” Sheet, I don’t like the sound of that. I immediately moved back to side control.  😉   

By that time, my forearms (esp the right) felt like overcooked spaghetti from hauling on all those keylocks, I could barely grip, and I was so exhausted. The only thing that kept me going was that she was puffing and panting and I could tell she was exhausted too. If she’d controlled her breathing, I may have dispaired. (I told her this after the comp- told her to work on that for next time.). I tried to set up a few different chokes and was having trouble gripping hard enough. Finally I grabbed a handful of her opposite lapel, palm up, and started inching my body N/S over her head. I feel like that’s kind of a douchebaggy choke, and I don’t like to do them, but I was desperate and I knew I couldn’t keep going much longer. She tapped, and I exclaimed in relief, “Holy ______!” (I need to remember to not do that at the Revolution; I’d probably get DQ’ed.)

We got some time before no-gi, but my ams (and the rest of me) were in no way recovered. I had shot my wad in that fight. Not that I”m making excuses for what happened next- I was outclassed- but yeah, I was tired and I still couldn’t grip very well.

I fought the same girl again, and she got me in closed guard again, and then somehow she squirreled out at light speed and got my back and choked me from behind. It was embarrassingly quick. She seemed stunned. I was embarrassed. Oh well. She was a worthy opponent. I would have liked to give her a little more of a challenge there. My no-gi sucks so badly!

Then I fought a different woman. She was terrified of me, I could tell- and I felt kind of bad about that. She jumped guard, and I lowered her carefully to the mat. Then I was stuck in her closed guard for the entire 7 min timed match. I have trouble getting out of closed guard- I usually wait for the opponent to attack, and then I try to pass. She just wanted to keep me there; kept yanking me down on her chest. The only thing worse than this is this in no-gi… no grips. It took me the entire time to finally get enough space to start to work a knee up between us, and then the sock was thrown in.

Just a couple minutes, then we went again. Ref said, “No time limit- I got nowhere to be.” I did not want to be in her closed guard again, so I was planning to try to make her fight me standup for a while and tire her out- but the next thing I knew, she was slapping on a guillotine. I’m still not sure how it happened, and I’m disgusted, because that’s one of *my* favorites. She jumped guard and again I knelt slowly to deposit her on the mat. Then I started to work getting the guillotine off, but it was on there good and proper, and she started pulling. I maybe could have fought a little harder, but ya know- I’m 42, and when some young warrior starts hauling on my neck, good sense whispers in my ear, “Just tap, grandma.” So I did. Again both opponent and ref were stunned that it was over so quickly. Sorry everybody. I sucked epically in no-gi today. These ladies were good, though- I’m embarassed that I didn’t give a better fight in no-gi, but there’s no shame in losing to those ladies- they won fair and classy. (I’m glad Cindy missed seeing this, though…. Casey saw it… hope there’s no video!)

I like to think I would have made a better showing if I wasn’t so wiped out from the epic ring fight, but who knows. I also might have made a batter showing if I’d actually *done* any no-gi lately. I think I’ve done about 3 no-gi classes in the last six months. It felt weird to be fighting in those clothes.

As far as my goal to work on the affects of the adrenaline dump: It didn’t seem to hit me as bad this time. Part of it, I’m pretty sure, was the environment- it was a smaller building, smaller crowd… having a jillion people watching (including multiple of my teachers) definitely worsens my nerves. Carlos and Rodrigo were both MIA…. less pressure having fewer of my many teachers watching. Also, the pace. The Revolution is pretty well-run as far as BJJ comps go, but the fewer people here made for an even brisker clip. There were only seconds between being told we were on deck (when my biochemical reaction kicks in) and the engagement. There wasn’t much time to freak out. Oh, it was still there- but smaller. I even felt like I’d kind of had some fun in those first two fights. I have never felt *that* before in a comp. I felt fairly calm and collected during most of the long gi fight- I even remember chuckling aloud a little at something one of the coaches said (can’t recall what). It will be interesting to see if I am calmer at November’s Revolution as well, or if the environment just ramps me up again.  I will probably fight Hadley again in no-gi at that comp- don’t know about the other one.

It turned out to be a definite problem to do both gi and no-gi in such a small event. The Revolution usually has you waiting at least a couple hours between gi and no-gi. When you’re a colored-belt female competitor, though, with the often-shallow brackets involved in that, it is impossible to plan. It would suck to decide to do just one and not the other, if it turned out that you would have had several good fights in the one you dropped, and you end up finishing in 30 seconds in the one you kept.

I can’t even imagine being a white or blue belt guy in one of the populous brackets, and doing 8+ fights in both gi and no-gi. Lord.

I saw one guy dislocate his shoulder and another take a leg injury- not sure if that one was a break, but he was writhing around on the floor like it was worse than just a cramp or pull.

Also saw Will demolish all the competition and win 1st. That was cool.

On the way home from the comp, I bought a half-pound bag of peanut M&M’s and one of those 880-cal Jack In the Box small chocolate shakes. I also decided to drink as much non-diet Dr Pepper as I want for the rest of the day. My body is going “Whaaaaaa-?” at the influx of sugar after being on a diet composed largely of eggs and poultry for a good while.


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