Sunday, 18 November 2012

The F.F.C. Autism Charity event

Yesterday, Alasdair and I made our way up to Montreal one last time for the year. We thought we were done with the 401 East for the year back in early November, but then this event came up and I was happy to make the drive one more time.

A little background in case you don't know about this event. It was organized by Glen MacKenzie, known as Glen MM on Facebook. He seems like a pretty cool cat. There were nine super fights: three purple, four brown, and two black (I think that's the right break down). All of the money from ticket sales and raffle sales went to two autism foundations. I think one was a research program, and the other a martial arts program for kids with autism.

I wasn't originally on the card, but when her scheduled opponant Elsa Sery injured her back training, Alison suggested me as a replacement and I was happy to help! I think fighting for a cool event like this is a much more worthwhile cause then competing in a tournament for a medal or whatever. I shuffled some plans around, got the day off work and I was in!

The event was nice enough to put us up in a room for the night, pay for our parking and get us coupons for a continental breakfast in the morning. Gringo is such a nice guy, he refused to let them even do that, so more money could go to the charities! I would love to have the financial freedom to do that, but this road trip probably will end up costing three or four hundred dollars when you take in time off work, gas, food and whatnot. I was happy to be there even with those expenses, but to have to pay for a room and parking on top of those would have probably broken the bank.

So how were the fights you ask?

I missed the first two because I was warming up. Up first was Mike Trembley and a local guy. Mike won on points, and from what I heard it was a great match, Mike had a triangle at one point and it looked like it would be over, but then later in the match the other guy got Mike in a tight kimura and they went out of bounds.

Second fight was a no gi purple belt match, I have no idea what happened in it.

3rd fight was Alison and I! I think we gave the crowd a great show. If you looked at the score board at the end it looked like a slaughtering: I lost 22-0, but I felt like it was a pretty competitive match. I stuck pretty well to my game plan at the beginning, but once again, when I didn't get my pass points it threw me off and it went a bit downhill from there. I did defend the kimura (thanks everyone at Pura for trying to take my arm off on Wednesday) and also one or two other attempts, but I kept reguarding a terrible half guard and getting it passed, so Alison raked up the points. I managed to create some decent opportunities, but I was sloppy and wasted them. I've got a few things to work on before we fight again!

I missed the 4th fight because I was helping my friend Dainis warm up for his fight which was 5th. Dainis fought Ryan Keller, a local brown belt who was ridiculously strong. It was a really great match. They did quite a bit of standup and Dainis got a throw straight into an arm bar. The crowd went crazy and Ryan managed to power out of it. They spent a lot of time in Dainis's guard and near the end Ryan got a nice half guard sweep and almost pass to tie it up. The ref decided to do a 5 minute overtime instead of a decision. Dainis really picked up the pace and laid it on in the over time, passing to mount twice and winning 16-2. 

Next was a nogi fight between the 10th planet guy (Louis Ho) and another local guy (Ord Millar). The local guy started strong with a nice takedown, but the 10th planet guy quickly set up a nice deep half guard and worked a banana split sub! Yes, you read that right, he did a banana split sub in real life! I've never seen it work and this guy wad actually pretty flexible, I was insanely impressed! He got sub of the night for it, and it was well deserved.

The last brown belt fight was Jimmy Tat, from Revolution BJJ vs David Guigui. It was a pretty fun fight to watch, Jimmy worked a lot of guard stuff and in the end caught the other guy in a slick arm bar. 

The first black belt fight was a tight game of attempted guard passes and sweeps with the guy with the mustache and tattoo winning by a single advantage. There probably could have been one or two more advantages scored on the match, but I think the right guy won.

Last match of the night was Gringo vs Mark. It was insanely close with no scores at all in the first 10 minutes, or maybe one advantage each, I forget. Either way, Gringo was working a nice closed guard almost the entire match setting up sweeps and stuff but Mark was defending well. Gringo almost got a really nice sweep -- he came up, but wasn't able to maintain enough to get the points. They ended up doing a 5 min overtime where Mark was able to get some points and a nice looking inverted triangle but was unable to finish. Mark won by five points or so I believe.

All in all it was a great night of fights to watch as a fan, and I learned a few things in my fight with Alison. So its win/win even though I lost.  

The event was packed to the rafters with fan. It ended up being in a much smaller place because the hotel booked the original room for a paying customer and we got bumped to a smaller place, which is totally understandable. The hotel hosted the event for free and also donated 1000 points to each fight winner, which I think works out to a free night or two, very generous of them. SAU was also a sponsor of the event, donating free entry to their next tournament to the winner, which is pretty cool. I will probably check out their tournament next time. Popeyes nutrition donated a huge prize pack for the sub of the night as well.

Thanks to Alasdair for coming along and cornering me, I may not have listened to everything he yelled but I tried most of the time. Also, thanks to Clidan, who happened to be in town for the UFC, for coming out to watch and work the camera for me. It's amazing to have teammates like this who support me everywhere. 

So that's that. Next weekend is provincials. I'm fighting for free, or I would probably skip it. I'm also refereeing which will be fun, and stressful.

The weekend after that is Grappler's Quest in London, once again fighting for free and refereeing. I've been hoarding away my referee and commission money to save up for Pans and Worlds. It's a slow process but hopefully I can save some other money as well and I'll be able to compete there.

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