Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Copa de Hong Kong 2012

Suffered a tough loss in a BJJ tournament yesterday. The Copa de Hong Kong is HK's largest BJJ tournament. It's single-elimination tournament format. There were 10 guys in my division (there are byes) so I would have had to fight three times to get the gold medal. I was very ready for this.

I have trained very little in the gi in the last twelve months, since that is when I started training for MMA. The gi game is very different from the no-gi one; it's a game of tight control and grip fighting whereas no-gi is more fast and explosive (and slippery, due to the sweat). So I wasn't expecting to be technically as sharp as I could be, but I felt that I would have superior conditioning to my opponents and that I would be poised to make a deep run and gut it out when the going got tough.

At the moment I submit to the armbar, I am up 4-2. (Here is an explanation of how the points work.) By my stopwatch, there is 30 seconds remaining in the fight at this point. As you can see, I was totally disgusted by making the fatal error that led to the triangle, and subsequently the armbar. Not since Bret Hart got put in the Sharpshooter have I been so upset about the villain beating the hero with his own finishing move. That's how upset I was.

It was disappointing. I really felt great and I'd barely broken a sweat in the match, and it was all over. I would have loved to fight three times, but I was beaten by the better man. I received some small measure of consolation when my opponent -- exhausted as he was after squeezing his ass off for over 90 seconds trying to finish me -- absolutely smashed his semifinal opponent, sweeping him to the back and choking him with a hellacious bow-and-arrow choke.

So that was disappointing, but back on the MMA track for now. Gi-based BJJ is fun but much like boxing, kickboxing and wrestling, it is only part of the game for the MMA fighter. Much like it'd be tough to box against people who only box, it will continue to be hard for me to play jiujitsu against people who only do jiujitsu. And so the healthiest approach is to worry less about wins and losses and worry more about the continual process of self-improvement.

(But losing still sucks.)