Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Montreal Grappling: April 28th 2013

This past Saturday we made the short (well, relatively short, compared to Chicago and New York) trip down the 401 to Montreal for the Grappling Industries Montreal: Mundials edition.  It was a lovely trip, traffic was pretty much perfect and we made great time.

The day started off with a trip to the dentist, which is never very fun, but a semi-necessary evil.  I didn't go to the dentist for the longest time because I had no coverage and was a poor student, then house poor, then jiu jitsu poor. Now, my work, and Jon's work both have coverage, and we are DINKS, so the dentist is a-ok.  Anyway... everything was fine at the dentist, no cavities! Yay!

So we picked up Stephen around 11:15 and hit the road.  We made great time out of Toronto, and the 401 was smooth sailing all along.  We stopped for gas at the Odessa service center (just before Kingston) and carried on straight to the hotel.  

We stayed at the A Loft hotel, by the airport.   It's a weird hotel.  It's right on the airport property, so we had to pay $10 parking, but compared to the downtown hotels, that's nothing.  The hotel had a strange vibe.  Hipster, modern, but loft-like - so tall, rough ceilings, and weird use of space.  The front desk lady was very friendly and helpful, and had excellent English.  The room was nice and large, but only had a shower, and the bathroom door was a sliding door, that didn't really seal or sound proof too well.  I swear that is my most common complaint when it comes to hotel rooms.  When you’re staying at a hotel, with 3 or 4 or 5 people, you don't really need or want to hear them all do their business.  The room had 2 queen beds, and a little couch/bench thing, that someone could sleep on in a pinch.   It also had a very large desk, and a very nice TV.   The really neat thing was that the TV had a box with a bunch of different plugins that hooked straight to the TV.  The hotel also had cables to lend out, but they had run out when we asked. 

We got directions to Amir (which is a Middle Eastern chain in the area) from the front desk lady, and Jon and I headed out for some food.  Stephen was a fatty, so he stayed at the hotel watches streams of people playing video games.  I don't understand this phenomenon, but apparently it's quite popular, 100’s of thousands of people were watching it.  Weird.  We picked up some tasty food and then wanted to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a cable, and maybe some drinks and snacks, and it was closed.   Walmart closed at 6:00pm on a Saturday.  What is wrong with Dorval?  Anyway... some interesting traffic circles and construction later and we were back at the hotel.

The food was tasty, I asked for chicken shawarma, but got beef, but that's ok.  I enjoyed it anyway.   We streamed the fights on my netbook for a while, and then on Stephan's laptop after he fell asleep.  Some decent fights, but some very strange calls!  Like the instant stoppage for the eye poke.  Wrong call by the referee. He should have had the doctor come in and check him out, give him a chance to recover a bit, and keep fighting.  I fell asleep during the first fight of the main card, and still haven't watched the rest.  I did see the clip of Jon Bone's toe going all crazy. Ewww, that is freaky.    While we were watching some of the fights, Stephan the Fatty took a super super hot shower, and turned the entire bathroom into a sauna pretty much,  to sweat out a few lbs.   Not ideal, but the best we could come up with without a tub, and no Sauna in the hotel.

In the morning, we checked out, and headed to weigh in.   Jon weighed in at a whopping 162lbs with all his clothes on.  That boy needs to move down to feather weight.  He is too small for lightweight. But he likes candy and pizza more than fighting people his own size so whatever.   Stephan squeaked by right on the 1lb allowance of 169, wearing much less the Jon.    I weighed in at 152, with ALL my clothes on, except my shoes.  Hello Middle weight, it’ll be nice to see you at the Ontario Open.  It didn't really matter how much I weighed because the division is +141. 

After weighing in, we headed to our traditional breakfast place for the Montreal Grappling tournaments, Cora (previously known, and always for me known as Cora's, calling it just Cora is awkward and dumb).  We like to go here because it's just down the road, and has a lovely selection, and, there is almost always someone with us who is cutting the weight closes and starving by the time weigh ins come around.  They are pretty quick and, unlike the ones around here, it's not very busy.  Jon got the maple latte, which was disappointing, so, don't bother with that if you are in there.  It sounds so promising, but does not deliver.

Back to the tournament.... I had 3 matches with my friend Sissi.  She's a ridiculously good blue belt from BTT Canada.   We fought once before at the Toronto IBJJF tournament and I won by armbar.  That was when we were both in medium heavy.  I believe she has been fighting in Heavy for the last couple tournaments, but barely, so the weight difference isn't really enough to be a factor.    I'll be honest, I underestimated her.  I came in expecting the Sissi I competed against in Toronto, and got a version about 5x better!   Man, she has gotten good! 

I won our first match on points; I believe the score was 3-10 or so.  I can't remember exactly.  I got a pass, a sweep, and maybe mount?  She definitely got a pass, but that may have been it.  In our second fight, she came out more aggressive, and scored early.  At one point, with about 1 min left, I was in her guard, and she went for a hip bump/kimura/sit up sweep, and her elbow caught me in the side of the head and eye.  I panicked.  It was bad. My brain was like "Ahhhh I’ve got a concussion, ahhh panic, ahhhh you can't fight anymore ahhh ahhhh ahhhh” I completely stopped fighting and she got to mount and I'm still panicking.   I tapped and it took me a while to re-compose myself.  I wasn't actually hurt, but I clearly have some mental shit to get over still.  After the match I told the match setter I couldn't fight anymore, and sat down.   I thought about it for a bit, calmed down, and realized, it was all in my head, and I was actually fine.  So I asked to do the 3rd fight, Sissi was all for it, and David and Mathieu were fine with it as well.   So, third fight, she was super aggressive again, and I was trying to play the new stuff I was working on, with DLR, and rolling to recover my guard and inverting and whatnot.  It worked OK at some points, but eventually I ended up flattened out on my stomach, with her hooks in.  For like 3 minutes.  Throughout the match she had racked up a few stalling penalties and was 1 call from being disqualified.  She kept busy enough to avoid the DQ, but didn't really go for anything.  It was pretty frustrating to be stuck on the bottom like that, but it gave me motivation to tidy up my game and not get stuck like that again!

Jon's second opponent forgot his pants.  How do you go to a tournament without pants?  I always bring 2 full sets of gear for a tournament, gis, shorts, rashguard, sports bra.  Two of each.  You never know what could happen, and this way, if anything does, I've got it covered.   Did he not have a teammate he could borrow pants from? Or buy a pair or a gi from the gi hive, who was there pimping some wares.  They actually had some really nice stuff, cheap Redstar gis, Tatami gis, and scramble rashguards. Also, Gi Soap, which isn't for washing your gi, it's for washing your body, after doing gi things. 

Jon went 1-2 in his matches.  He scored his first points in almost a year and first points at blue belt.   Jon has a weird style; He pretty much doesn't pay attention to the score and constantly tries to sub people.  It works, sometimes, but he tends to lose on points if it gets to the end.   His last guy was a judo guy, and it was insanely obvious. He had no idea what the rules were, and almost got disqualified for stalling, in the first minute and a half.  He sat in side control doing NOTHING for almost 2 minutes.  Then, moved to mount, and did the same thing.  The only reason he wasn't disqualified was because Jon was squirming so much it made him look busy.    I love to see the judo guys come out and compete, but know the rules, and play the game.  You don't see basketball players trying to play soccer and carrying the ball or dribbling it down the field, do you? 

Stephan went 1-3 in his fights.   He had some tough guys, and the weight cut really affected his stamina and power.  He gave the guys a hard time though, and got a chance to work his DLR guard a bit.  We are working on the mental side of the game together for the next few weeks and He is going to ruin people’s day at the Ontario Open and Worlds.    Oh, the fight he won, it was with a beautiful loop choke.  It was nicely set up, and the guy didn't see it coming. 

One competitor that stood out to me on Sunday was Kieran from Lin martial arts.   I've seen him compete before I think, with mixed results.  I noticed him warming up with a team mate and was really impressed with the flow of their roll and the level of skill they were showing.   In all the matches except one he showed some really nice open guard stuff and pretty much dominated the division.   He fought the judo guy Jon fought and got stalled out with the guy in his guard not trying to pass or do anything.  It was a shame to see, but I think it was a great lesson for him.  I'm really looking forward to watching him compete in the future.

We didn't stick around for much after we were done fighting.  We were looking at a 6.5 hours (ish) drive home and work early in the morning.  We stuck around long enough to be able to give Mike B a ride home, and took off.  Mike went 3-1 for the day, and, probably should have been 4-0, but I didn't see the entire match he lost, so I cannot say for sure.

The drive home was pretty uneventful as well.  There was this one van, who insisted on staying in the fast lane, and not driving very fast.   They would go 105 for a while, then 110, then 115, then 105, then 125 for a while.  It drove me crazy.  They were causing all sorts of traffic headaches, and people kept tailgating me because, you know, by tailgating the person in front of you, it gets the car, 10 cars up, that is the reason for the slowdown, to go faster.  

It started raining around Oshawa, which caused some traffic slowdowns, but nothing major, with the detour to Brampton, and dropping of Stephan, it was about 7 hours all together to get home.  Not bad at all. Considering last time we went to Montreal it took us 19 hours to get there and about 9 to get home.  I love summer road trips, except ones that start on Friday afternoon, and involve going through Toronto traffic.

The tournament itself was smooth, as usual. The mats were cleared at 9:55am and matches were being called right at 10:00am.   Things went smooth all day, except when the few guys who registered and didn't show up were called.  That caused a bit of a delay, but nothing Major.  In the future, Grappling Industries will be giving refunds, instead of no-pay for people who earn a free entry to their events.  I think this will help keep people honest, and hopefully keep the now-shows to a minimum.    What they should have done, was cross reference the weighin list, or the check-in at the door list, with the draw sheets, before handing them to the tables, so that they would know if the guy was there or not.  This would take some time, but will save time down the road.  Hopefully, in the future, they will be able to do that.

The new medals came in! And they are nice!   I didn't get one though :(  All of the silvers were stuck in transit lol.  I probably would have just used the old medals for one more event, but Hey, I like how excited these guys are about making their events better each time.    Like I said, last time, the next thing they need to get is some kind of noise maker, to signal the end of a match.  You can't always keep an eye on the board as a referee, and it's difficult to hear the score keeper sometimes.  Also, the mat size, as I mention after every event.  They need bigger mat areas, or even just an extra row of black between the mats.  It would make for a lot less stoppages, and would be much safer in general. 

So, this weekend I am heading to the OJA coaching course.  I don't imagine I will get much out of it, as I have already completed NCCP all the way up to Level 3, which is the level you need to coach everywhere but the Olympics (for Judo). But hey, I could pick up a tidbit or two, and it's always good to attend these kinds of things to keep up with the times and be on the same page as everyone.

Next weekend is the Ontario Open. The BIGGEST and highest level tournament in Ontario, probably in Canada.  They are giving away 10 trips to worlds, and tons of rashguards, belts, gis, medals, trophies and other crap.  It's going to be an amazing event.  Registration closes on Monday, so, if you’re in the area, or driving distance, or flying distance, seriously, if you can get there, Do it!

2 weeks after that is WORLDS.  Yup, we are going to California Baby!!   Jon and I are flying out on May 24th, training at Art of Jiu Jitsu till the tournament (4 days), and then competing at the Mundials!   I've already got 8 girls in my division!  EIGHT!!!!  Can you believe it???  That is more purple belt women than have attended any of the tournaments I have been to since December, and they are ALL in my division!   I am so excited!!  Alasdair and Stephan are also going to worlds.  They are heading up 5 days earlier, and, coming back with us Sunday night.    It's going to be an amazing 10 days.

The weekend we are in California training, is Grappler's Quest and FILA.  If you are in town, you should check them out. They should be pretty great events.  Grappler's Quest is giving out trips to Las Vegas to some of the absolute division winners, and lots of other cool prizes to.  The FILA event is a qualifier for the FILA worlds, which will take place later in the summer, in London, ON.

I was supposed to go train today, but instead, I got some groceries, cooked some lunches and finished registering and paying for the camp.  I suppose these are all things that needed to be done, but I hate missing class.  It's really difficult juggling a full time job, training, conditioning training, teaching classes 2x a week, and finding time to do things like cook, laundry, and other household things. Not to mention going on competition road trips on weekends, when most people would be doing the catch up on the non-work-things.  Oh well, this is the life I choose, and despite this little bit of whining, I love every minute of it.

Hey you, do you have a company or brand you want to get more exposure for, how about sponsoring me?  I'll pimp your wears, I'll advertise your stuff, I’ll spam my friends (well, maybe not spam them, but share stuff with them).  I could really use some financial assistance for worlds and whatnot.  I've already spent about 5000 bucks this year on tournament trips, and that's not including all the money I have spent towards worlds. 

See YOU on the mats!

1 comment:

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