Went to compete in the Newcastle Open yesterday, after a last minute sign up. I decided to sign up because there were new names on the girls roster that I’d not seen before. It’s pretty rare for that to happen at smaller competitions because the same girls seem to have the fire for competition. Either way, I was excited.
I had to get up at 5.15am to get to Newcastle which was super fun, but without a little bit of discomfort we don’t get to do these awesome things. So anyway, we arrived in Newcastle in good time for weigh in, and I decided to have a mini power nap before gi-ing up. I was lying in the stands with my gi jacket over my head and I vaguely heard a small child asking why there was a pile of clothes there, and his mother saying “shhh! there’s someone underneath that!” which made me smile.
I weighed in at 54.5 with the gi on. Seeing as my category was -65kg in the gi I was (once-again) easily the smallest in my category. It doesn’t really matter, I’m pretty used to it by now. Anyway, before I was up my team mate Tim was on the mats. He won his first match with a great technical display and control. Unfortunately he lost his second match to take silver in the division. This was Tim’s first competition, however, and I think that’s a pretty epic start!
After that I was up for my first gi match. The girl I was fighting was quite a lot bigger than me and pulled into closed guard straight away. She tried to go for a gogoplata from closed guard, but rather than having her hand across my neck she had her forearm across my nose and just decided to crush my face. I’m fairly sure this is illegal, cause you’re not allowed to attack the eyes or the nose. There was blood everywhere about 0.3 seconds later and it took quite a long while to stop. Unfortunately the ref didn’t actually see the action when it happened, so she got away with it. I’m sporting a lovely black eye today though!
Anyway, after I’d cleaned myself up and got myself together again I took to the mats again and went on to win my second gi match by points and take bronze. The girl stood next to me with a bronze is the girl I managed to defeat, but I’m glad she was on the podium too as this was her first comp and she was pretty nervous to begin with. Didn’t show on the mat though!!
I then did gi absolutes and lost to Sarah Greenwood (centre in the pic above) by some submission or other. I genuinely can’t remember, I need to watch the videos again to see what happened. I think it might have been a guillotine..? I took bronze in the gi absolutes, but not before the girl who’d busted my nose earlier stormed off in a strop because apparently the girl she fought had been cheating. Hahaha…. pot, meet kettle.
I then had a bit of wait for my no-gi division fights. It was only Sarah and I in the no-gi division, and she subbed me with a nice Kimura. I was being a bit nooby and failed to hide my arm effectively whilst I was in deep half guard – oh well! Will learn that one!! I then signed up for no-gi absolutes. I fended off a deep triangle choke by Sarah and survived a lot longer only to get caught in something or other (again, I need to see the videos to figure out what happened), but then I went on to win my second match by 18 points to 4. I was really chuffed with this because the girl I fought was significantly heavier than me, and it was a tough match. I was able to follow my half-guard game though and sweep before taking the mount and back. She fended off an RNC attempt to reverse, but I took half guard again and was able to sweep and pass again, so the points racked up. It was a good match and I was super pleased with myself; I am making gains!
Ze and Kieran from Kaizen also competed and took home two silvers after some tough matches, with Kieran competing in the Advanced category against a seasoned purple belt.
All in all it was a really great day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself (other than getting my nose crushed). It was also super nice to hang out with some of the girls I’ve met before matside, and to meet competitors who’ve I’ve not seen before.
We might be competitors, but we’re all their for the same reason, and we’re all BJJ girls, so it’s lovely to get to have a chinwag and catch up on the matside.
Anyway, this was the final tally from yesterday’s competition. Soon they’ll be some lovely shiny gold ones to add to that, but I’m really chuffed with how I performed yesterday and am looking forward to working on my game even more.
Until next time,