Monday, 28 January 2013

Montreal Grappling Jan 26th 2013 Tournament Review

This past weekend, four of us made the long road trip down the 401 for the first Grappling Industries event of 2013.  We left Burlington around 12pm Friday afternoon, and were back home in Hamilton by 11:59PM Saturday night. This is how we generally do our trips to Montreal to save money and not spend the entire weekend away. The drive home is always a bit rough, but we get Sunday to recover and get ready for the new week.

This time around, it was Jon, Alasdair, and Ken, and myself.  I might as well mention the results now, so I don't forget. Jon went 2-2, earning his first 2 wins at blue belt. Both of his wins were with chokes, but at least this time there was a variety. Ken went 4-0, winning his division! He won 3 by submission, and one on points score late in the fight. Ken is a competing machine lately and it's great to see how much he has improved the last little while. This was Alasdair's first competition as a purple belt and he made it look like he was a seasoned purple. He went 4-0 in the round robin,  with 3 subs, and a win by points (against a BROWN belt). He then fought a tough opponent in the final, losing on points. A great start to what will likely be a very successful run as a purple belt, and a great warm up for the pro trials in 2 weeks.

So, a bit more about the trip up. We hit some snow in east Toronto/Oshawa and missed an insane 80 car pileup by about 1/2 hour or so. I'm glad we left when we did, other people coming from the GTA spent up to 10 or 11 hours getting to Montreal!  Some people turned around after sitting in traffic for 4 hours.

We stopped at a service center to get a bite to eat and get some gas. Jon and Ken both got 20-packs of timbits, and both of them were missing timbits! Jon only got 16, and Ken got 18. Now, it's probably better for them, because that is a disgusting amount of carbs and sugar to be consumed, but 16 instead of 20? That is losing 20%! Ridiculous. So be aware of that if you're buying timbits along the 401. Count them before you leave the counter and don't get ripped off! I stuck to my paleo diet, and got a grilled chicken burger, on a lettuce bun from A&W.  They charged me the full price, which was fine. Interestingly, on the way home, we stopped for gas/food, and I ordered it again and this time it was like 1/2 the price, and they gave me two pieces of chicken! Oh well, it was tasty chicken so I don't really care.

Our hotel was... different. It's always an adventure when we travel to Montreal, because I tend to book hotels through Hotwire, Priceline, or deals I find on Wagjag, Groupon, Livingsocial, Dealfind, or whatever.  You never really know what you're going to get until you're there. This hotel I booked through a Teambuy deal. It was only 70 bucks plus 10 bucks per person over double occupancy. The location wasn't the most convenient, or inconvenient, not really close to food. We walked about a km to find some, and it was tasty. The hotel used to be a post office, it had really tall ceilings, and looked cool on the outside. The inside was a little rough around the edges, but was functional. Our room was cozy, but quite nice. They are in the process of renovating all the rooms, so we had a fresh room. We are staying there again in two weeks for the Pro Trials, hopefully we get an equally nice room.

I suppose I should talk about the tournament itself.  It was a typical Grappling Industries tournament. Ran smooth, started on time, decent refereeing (if I do say so myself) and a few trips to California for the absolute winners. My friend Sissi, from BTT Canada, in Montreal, won the ladies' trip in a decisive manor, she looked very impressive on Saturday! I'm looking forward to a chance to compete with her again sometime this year. The men's purple and up trip went to Amir, from Toronto. Amir is an absolute BEAST and he should do well at Pans. I don't know the guy, but Derek Boase, who won the men's blue belt trip, won the final with a nice armbar so that's a good sign.

Grappling Industries has adopted the IBJJF weight classes, which is an important step for them,  they have more weight classes at their tournaments now then they used to as well.  I don't think they use all of the weight classes in Montreal though, which is understandable, because the market is so much smaller. They are all about giving competitors experience, and when you're alone in a weight class, there is no experience to be gained, just a shiny medal. In Toronto, I think they will use all the weight classes for adult men, a subset for masters men, and 2 weight classes for the ladies.

I refereed for the day, and it was a pretty good time. We had 5 referees for 4 mats, so were able to have some breaks throughout the day.   The interesting thing about refereeing for Grappling Industries is that their uniform is a bit different from most other tournaments.  We wore tuxedo shirts and bow-ties.  I admit, I felt quite silly at first, but it sure does look good in the videos and pictures. It adds a nice touch of professionalism I think. It would have been better if both of my black socks had made it to Montreal, but instead I had to borrow a pair of socks from Ken, who thankfully brought an extra pair. 

So, that's that,  in two weeks we do it all over again for the Pro Trials.  I will just be playing chauffeur, but it'll be a good time. 

On a side note, my concussion was getting a lot better, but I think the mental strain of driving 6 hours, not sleeping great, reffing all day, then driving back set me back a bit. I'll likely try to train a bit later in the week, but am resting for the early half of the week. This weekend Jon and I are having a mini vacation in Toronto, going to see a Marlies/Bulldogs hockey game, and watch the Second City comedy show.  Should be a nice break.

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