Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to competition: grappling qualifier in downtown Vancouver this weekend

I'm doing the no-gi portion of the 2012 World Grappling Team Trials for Canada this weekend here in downtown Vancouver. I'm competing at 60kg (132 lbs) which is pretty standard for me. What's not standard for me is that there are no skill divisions in this competition. Because it's a qualifier to represent Canada on the international stage in Moscow, there is only one division, meaning anyone regardless of skill level can enter. In fact, this is the first open tournament I've seen where novices are specifically discouraged from entering.

The last couple of years I have typically competed in the "intermediate" division of tournaments; I've lost in the first round (in Manila in March) but I've medalled a couple of times (including the most recent Grappler's Quest in Las Vegas where I notably suffered a concussion during my bronze medal match). But I feel like I'm starting to shake off the post-WSOP rust/lethargy/poor fitness and am getting back into a decent groove. Modulo a few minor niggling injuries, I feel like I should perform well on Saturday.

My weight this morning was 62.9 kg (138.4 lb) so my last meal until weigh-ins on Friday will be tonight (Wednesday), and I'll continue drinking water until Thursday around sundown. I'll shed the last few pounds in the sauna. It sounds difficult to the layperson but a teammate of mine is making the cut from >150 lbs to compete in the same division as me, so I can hardly complain.

I don't expect to actually win, but I hopefully I get a favourable draw and win a match or even two. Either way it'll be pretty good experience competing full bore against elite-level grapplers. The event is 1pm on Saturday right in the midst of downtown Vancouver at UBC Robson Square, so if you are local I hope you'll consider coming out to watch!