Wednesday, 8 August 2012

An interesting adventure for the first tournament back.

Let's go waaaaaay back, to January and my first tournament back after a long time off due to injuries, lack of motivation, and a school change.   It was only 8 months ago, but seems like a lifetime.  I feel like my Jiu Jitsu game has completely changed since then and it's probably a good thing, because I looked terrible. 

The tournament in question is the Michigan Open.  Now, there are a couple different tournaments that are run in the Detroit Michigan area.  Apparently there are some that aren't terrible, that are run by a completely different group of people.  I haven't been to one of theirs yet. 

We had a lovely drive to the hotel,  which turned out to be AMAZING!  In case your ever in the dearborn/detroit area, I highly recommend "The Henry".  It's full of art and is classy.   The rooms were nice and breakfast was delicious and reasonably priced.    The only thing is, the ceilings are a bit low for jumping on the beds.

We should have known we were in for a treat when the tournament "start" time came and went with not even a hint of something starting soon.  About 1.5 - 2 hours after the scheduled start time the super fights started.  Now, this is something that was actually pretty cool. They had 7 or 8 black belt super fights!  Now, if only 1/2 those black belts stayed around the whole day to ref, we would have probably had a much better day.

There was no weigh ins.   Nope, you didn't read that wrong.  They had a scale there,  but not a single person was asked to step on it.  There was no gi inspections, there was only the honour system.   Which is a nice thought, or a complete lack of caring, hard to say.    This didn't really matter to me, I was in the open weight class anyway, but 2 of my team mates were pretty close to the top of theirs, so were dieting and eating accordingly.   Seems like we were the only ones who didn't get the memo, because it seemed like an awful lot of people were to big for the divisions.

I mentioned the reffing earlier,  It started out ok, the refs were focused, and doing a decent job.  But, in my first match, I had the girl in an arm bar, at the edge, by the table,  and it was stopped, and we were stood back up.  We weren't in an "Unstable" position and I didn't get any points for it.  In the end it didn't actually matter because I got her in another one, but that's not the point is it?

A couple hours later, the tournament is crawling along,  more times then not there is only 1 or two matches going and it seems that there is only a couple refs left, who, more seem really interested in the other match(s) going on, or their children running on the mats, while a fight is going.  I think at the end of the day, there was only 2 refs left!

By the time the absolute came around,  about 75% of the people who had signed up had left.  The only ones sticking around where the people who travelled to get there.  Someone not associated with the tournament took over the draw because it was such a disaster. They did an ok job, but forgot to account for needing 2-4-8-16-32 style rounds to end up with a fair draw.   No one really cared anymore at this point. So it got the job done.

One good thing about this event was the level of competition.  A lot of tough guys showed up and the guys divisions were well attended. As usual very few girls showed up to play.  which you'll see is a recurring theme on here.

I can't imagine going back to this tournament.  It was far to under staffed and under organized to make the drive and stay in a hotel and have all those extra expenses.  If it was local, we might give it another chance.   If you happen to go next year, let me know how it is, but don't say I didn't warn you!


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