This past weekend 5 of us piled into my Honda Pilot and headed up to Jacksonville,NC for the first Combat Club Classic submission only tournament. After a 3 1/2 hour ride we arrived at the middle school.
We all made weight classes we were shooting for. Even Zach, the ambitious 15 yr old, managed to be in the < 225 class by ditching his phone and wallet.
We arrived way to early, in hopes of letting Zach compete in the teens. The combined weight of both teens competing in the division did not even equal Zach's weight. So no teen competition for us, and the waiting continued until one o'clock.
Blake, Russell, and Zach got called to the mats at the same time since they were in separate weight classes and white belts. Mike B and I frantically set up cameras and divided up coaching responsibilities.
Russell's match was first out of the three. This being his first tournament, I was pretty sure his nerves would play into the match. He did unexpectedly well for his time. He controlled his opponent, ended up in mount, but got caught with a triangle after a grueling eight minutes.
Blake's match in his first tournament experience did not fair so well. His opponent an apparent Judo practitioner kept trying to set up a Uchi mata. After screaming for Blake to jump guard to avoid the throw, he ended up in kesa-gatame and he put his arm in the wrong location and his opponent caught him in an arm bar. It was still an awesome experience for Blake competing for the first time.
Zach is the only one out of the five of us that placed third. He won his first match rather quickly, he had a perfectly executed scissor sweep, which led to him catching his opponent with an Ezekial choke. He ended up losing his next match to a Kimura after a hard fought battle of back and forth. To be 15 years old and compete at the level he did against older opponents he
is going to be a beast in the next couple of years.
The only downside of the tournament proceedings was the long wait in between the white and blue belt matches. It was almost three o'clock before the first blue belt match started.
Mike B. drew a white belt fighting up in divisions with six years MMA/ no gi training. It was an epic battle and Mike threw his entire arsenal at him. There were countless triangles and arm bars
attempted and defended. It was a back and forth battle, finally there was a scramble resulting in Mike being caught in an arm bar. It was a good match to watch and made me realize how important having a good strong base and defenses could prolong the length of the match.
Now moving on to your's truly. I drew a white belt that was fighting up in the blue belt as well. When I stepped on the mats, I was not nervous at all. It was the most calm I had ever been during a tournament. The match started and I immediately grabbed a deep cross collar grip and gripped his sleeve, I was looking to try and setup a take down. He did nothing to defend or try and break my grips, so I decided to try to set up a cross collar choke, I let go of his gi sleeve and planted my hand deep in the opposite collar. I had the cross collar choke set up, all I had to do was pull him into my guard and finish the choke. When I went to pull guard, I failed miserably and he stepped around and caught me in an armbar. I think my match almost lasted thirty seconds.
I was disappointed in my performance. I was the only one to blame. I trained as hard as I could, and I ended up beating myself.
All around it was a super fun time with the guys from the academy, the tournament officials were great, and the atmosphere was awesome. The only area that needed improvement was the down time between divisions.
I am hoping for a better showing during the next tournament on April 14th. Keep training and thanks to the Combat Club in Jacksonville,NC for tournament.