Sunday, 23 September 2012

GTA Classic and Upcoming stuff

Saturday Sept 22nd was the Annual GTA Classic!   The OJA is stepping things up and I like it!  

They had 8 mats running, pretty smoothly for most of the day I was there.   The reffing was decent, I saw a few interesting calls, but not enough, and not that bad that I would say the reffing was bad.  It wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst by a long shot.

      All the staff was friendly and efficient, and put up with me trying to rush them along as much as I was.    I'm normally really patient at tournaments and don't care if they run late or whatever, but I had to head to work and I felt like such an ass when I was asking about my division start time 10 minutes after it was scheduled to start.  The only reason it didn't start on time was because there was a bit of a discussion with the light weight blue division that needed to be sorted out before we could do the absolute.

The tournament was really well attended on the kids, masters, and adult men's side of things, but the ladies division were super sparse!  There was 10 registered, but only 8 competed.   that is so sad.   It's not the tournaments fault, like I talked about in a previous post, it's a weird situation and we need to work together to find a solution!!  

I enjoyed watching the kids competed,  Pura had 3 kids registered, and they all had really tough competition!  I was really impressed with the level of jiu jitsu that was happening in the kids divisions.  Some people were complaining that the kids divisions don't have subs, but to me I think that is the way it should be.  Kids don't have the degree of control that adults do, and if their arms get hyper extended or something else bad they could do serious damage that will affect them for their entire life! 

I didn't get to see a lot of the adult competition, but from what I saw, competition was fierce!  I caught a few of the purple belt matches and was really impressed.  There was more purple belts there then I've seen at a lot of tournaments lately, It's cool to see that many come and compete.   BJJ in Ontario is growing like crazy and its good to see that the higher up guys are able to compete at the local tournaments now.

I only got to compete in the absolute because there was no one in my division (medium heavy) and no one in heavy to move up to.  I was pretty bummed, and tried to cut weight early in the week to move down to middle, but my body was not co-operating, so I was stupid in medium heavy.  I plan on being in Middle for Provincials, or ascension at the very latest.

   I was super stoked that everyone who competed registered for the absolute,  that made for a 5 person division!   I was even happier when I saw that I was the only fight in the first round!  More matches!   I was a little bummed it was against my friend Melissa, since we have fought in the past, and I would have rather fought someone who I hadn't fought yet, and had a chance to fight Melissa later in the rounds.   But that's the way the cookies crumble, so we went out and had a great match.   Melissa is crazy strong and very explosive for someone her size and it's a challenge to catch her in submissions.    Her guard is really strong and I had to bait a sub to get past it!   Dangerous, I know, but it gets the job done more often then not.  I ended up eventually catching her with an arm bar and moving on to the next round.

Next up was Terri,  who I had competed against at the IBJJF Montreal absolute a few weeks ago,  I think it's great that she made the road trip all the way down from Montreal for the tournament. I wish more girls would do that!  Last time we fought Terri had really good gripping early on the match and pulled guard quickly, so I was ready for it this time and was looking for the pass before she even hit the ground.  This worked out pretty well, and I spent a good portion of the match in side control looking for subs.  I eventually was able to isolate an arm and setup a kimura.  I don't do a lot of kimura's but they are a cool sub, and I like them.

In the final, I fought Jodi,   she's got a killer guard and I tried to pull guard before her, but she beat me to it!   I spent a good amount of time working to pass her guard,  once again, I baited a sub to get her guard open and passed.  This is probably a bad habit, and I think I should spend some time drilling breaking the guard and passing. 
Goofing around on the podium with my sword!

I'm the right height now! I'm to tall for this sport!

Heather and I with our sweet samurai swords!
I had a great time competing and chatting with all the girls that came out.  We need to work on building more of a community amongst ourselves and carving out a space for ourselves at these events! 

I have to give a shout out to my team mate Heather!    She won her division and the white belt absolute!  She's a killer and I absolutely love having another girl who loves to compete on the team!

Thanks again to all my amazing team mates at Pura BJJ for helping me get ready and supporting me at the tournament It means so much to me to be part of this great team.

Next up for me is Toronto Grappling.  I am really looking forward to this event.  It will be nice not to have to drive all the way to Montreal for this round robin format!  I heard their is already some tough girls registered and I am looking forward to the challenge!  There are 4 trips to the IBJJF Pans on the line at this event for some of the absolute winners, including one for the ladies!   I can't really say enough good things about this tournament.  It's perfect for anyone looking to get more experience, new and experienced competitors alike!

Also coming up is the NYC Pro Trials.  I'm have been and will  continue working my ass off to get ready for this event.  I had a not so great time trying to qualify for abu dhabi last year, and I am hungry for another shot.  I am heading to that tournament with only one goal in mind, I will be winning a trip to abu dhabi.  To me, It's not an option.   This will be the the culmination of a year of hard work and dedication and I can only accept one outcome from that tournament.

 See you all on the mats!

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