Friday, November 1, 2013

No-gi World Championships tomorrow!

It's been a long while since I've posted about anything other than work, because like most people working here, work is most of what I do these days. The last month and a half though I've been actually getting back in a good training routine, enough that I signed up for the World No-Gi Championships tomorrow in Long Beach, California.

The toughest part for me was deciding whether I wanted to register for the Masters (over 30) division or the regular Adult (18+). Masters has just 7 people in it; Adult has 26. Obviously the path to winning the Masters division is much easier not just because of the numbers but because people over 30 are a little less physical, might have jobs/families/commitments and contain the 22-year-old kids who live in their parents' basements and train 4 times a day. But I decided to take the harder road because fuck it, it'll be more rewarding in the end. I think when I'm over 40 I'll do the old-man division but for now, why not get more fights in for any given trip? At the end of the day it's not like there's any prize money or real reward; the competition itself is the reward.

Well, I might have regretted this decision (if only for an instant) once the brackets were announced yesterday. I Googled my first round opponent and found this video of him. Even though that fight is mostly on the feet, he seems like he has some good wrestling and ground game. But my potential second round opponent is a really tall (figurative, of course) task. It's 17-4 MMA fighter Danny Martinez. Martinez has been a pro fighter since before I even took up jiujitsu (and a college wrestler before that). Three of Martinez' pro losses have come to guys in the UFC and all were by decision; he has never been submitted as a pro and he has fought two different guys who were previously the #1 flyweight in the world. I think it'll be tremendously tough, but if I can somehow win, it'd be a huge feather in my cap. I'm looking forward to the experience, if I get past my first opponent (which is no small feat itself!).

Beyond that I'll still have 3 more fights. I have decided not to psych myself out any further by looking to see who else I might face if I advance further...

In any case, I'm quite excited to get back into a major competition. In the absence of being able to do 2-a-days 6 days a week, I've trained intelligently on both technique and conditioning, and hopefully I'll get to use that. The weight cut has been smooth (as weight cuts go), so that's nice too. So no excuses, let's find out if it's all paid off!

(As for sweating: I will try to live-tweet the results. There might be a live stream, but it is very unclear from that website whether my mat (Mat #1) will actually be showing at the time of my matches.)