Saturday, 24 August 2013

Grappling Industries: Montreal (NoGI Worlds Edition) August 17th 2013

What the heck blogger? Why didn't you save the 98% finished post I wrote two days ago??? 

I hate re-writing stuff. So now I don't even feel like writing about this event.  But alas, there were some things I liked and did not like and whatnot, like with all tournaments. 

Starting off, we almost didn't go, and our carload ended up being just Alasdair and I.  Jon messed up his shoulder when Rick from AOJ  was here so he stayed home and worked on the renos to our entryway that he started 3 or 4 years ago.   Anyway, we were going to bail and just stay home and rest our weary bones, but I had committed to refereeing and they had some people cancel, so like good little sponsored athletes, we made the trek down.

It was a pretty terrible drive there. Nothing like the great blizzard and car failure of February(I think it was Feb anyway) but 3+ hours to get through Toronto is pretty awful.  Once we were past Pickering it was smooth sailing though.  The drive home was almost perfect. 6 hours door to door, with one quick gas / food / bathroom break at the first service center in Ontario.  We only took one break each way, which really does cut down on the time spent, but also makes for pretty stiff joints and a sore butt.

Our hotel was pretty sweet. I think it was either very new, or recently completely renovated.  It didn't quite have the new smell, but everything from the carpets, to the tables, walls, and TVs seemed new.
It had a pretty good location to,  close to one of the airports(I don't know which one), and also very close to a bunch of shops, a theatre and other entertainment type stuff.  Good for a 2 day event.  Free parking and WiFi is also pretty sweet and helps keep the costs of a trip down, especially for me and Jon, who are on wind, so we don't have data in Montreal.  Lastly, the hotel had a decent breakfast, for a reasonable fee, buffet was 14 bucks, or a standard omelet or eggs with bacon coffee, toast and whatnot was 11.50.   Buffet is great for events with day before weighin, not so great for ibjjf style events.

Anyway, it's a good thing we did show up because one of the other referrers canceled on Friday night, and a table worker or two no-showed!  We started at 9 am pretty much on the button, and ran steady till 530ish, with a bit of a break on some mats between the transition from nogi to gi.  This went more smoothly then at some past events because it seemed like they put divisions that would likely be the same.between gi and nogi on the same mats. 

For example: mat 1 was the light weight classes of nogi advanced, and then the purple belt lighter weight classes.  So there was less trouble with not being able to start a gi division because competitors were still finishing nogi on  another mat.  Of course, this doesn't always work, because if it is one of the really big divisions, having both gi and nogi run on the same mat, would lead to that mat running much later then other mats.  This did happen on the weekend as well, but I think it was only about half hour or so, once I to pass a few matches off onto a done mat. 

So, refereeing was an experience, as always.  I got called "bush-league" which turns out to mean bad.  It's a new term for me, but I suppose it could be worse.  He did say "with all do respect" first.  I'm not sure how that is respectful, but whatever.  He didn't like how I stopped fights before a takedown was complete on it's way out of bounds, and how I didn't stop it when they weren't heading towards the edge and the other guy got a takedown.  Sadly, with the small mat areas, and small(ish, well pretty standard which i find small) safety area, you have to stop things more often then on say, IBJJF size mat areas (which also vary from event to event, fun fact there).  

One other thing, that has kind of got me stewing about refereeing and my brain, was that after one match, the ended up being 3-1 advantages, the coach of the guy who lost was asking me about the advantages.  He was certain it should have been 2-2, and I couldn't recall what the advantages were given for. This was like, right after the match.  I felt bad, because I should be able to remember, it was 30 seconds ago, max 5 minutes total.  I am still confident I scored it right.  I believe the videos are already up so feel free to dig it up and prove me wrong.  But, I couldn't defend the calls I made.  That being said, I probably shouldn't even acknowledge people who want to question my refereeing, but he is a well respected member of the community and I could have been a good opportunity to learn perhaps.  

Anyway, the fact that my brain is working this substandardly makes me question my ability to referee.   I have always, for as long as I can remember had an iffy memory, I can re-watch a movie like 6 months after I watch it, and forget the dialog and whatnot. The general plot I can mostly remember but details are all lost.  Same with reading, I can re-read a book a year apart and it'll be new again.   It has definitely gotten worse since the last 2 concussions (one from sparring back in 2009 or so) ad the most recent one last December.

Another thing that was quite frustrating as a referee was the number of competitors reaping knees and not even knowing they are doing it.  Instructors/Professors/Coaches:  If you are going to teach DLR, and/or ankle locks please make sure your students know where they can and cannot put their feet, and which way they can turn!  Thankfully, with the new rules, I don't have to DQ instantly, but it's bad form.   I had 2 guys in intermediate going after ankle locks, and they were reaping like crazy. I stopped it and said "you can't do that", and they were both like "do what???".  I can only shake my head and hope they remember or next time.  I gave them a penalty, explained, un-reaped the legs and started them up again.   Here's a picture of it, in-case your are wondering if I'm crazy.

Last thing about refereeing that drives me crazy, is when competitors don't know the commands.  Again, coaches, if you are going to allow your students to compete, PLEASE make sure they know the basics like start,stop, and what tapping means.  Seriously.  I had a guys elbow get pretty jacked b/c the competitor didn't stop cranking when the guy tapped, and also didn't stop when I said Pa-row.   To me, that is one of the most disrespectful things you can do in competition (next to walking around with no shoes off the mat).   Even if you just hold, but don't apply anymore pressure until you are sure the referee has seen the tap, that would be ok.  

Alright, I am done ranting about refereeing.  Let's talk about the other thing that I was not a fan of this time around.  The medic situation was not good.  There was a medic, but he didn't have a table or area set up.  He was ill-equiped (no sports tape) and he didn't handle some injuries very well.  He was also not always easily found (since he didn't have a specific area).   I sent a guy to get his foot that was bleeding from mat burn taped up. He came back with a bandaid and a strip of clear tape on it.  The tape wasn't even wrapped around his foot. Needless to say, it lasted about 10 seconds.  A friend of mine who's elbow got jacked when to see him.  The medic asked if it hurt, and he said yes,  so he gave him some ice.  He didn't inspect it or try to diagnose it or anything.  While I don't expect the medics to be orthopedic surgeons,  I do expect them to be aware of the sport, and the special needs that come with working at it.

I didn't get a lot of free time to observe the tournament in general,  weigh ins went smoothly.  They have a really nice, very accurate scale and people were going through the weigh ins quickly.    I am a huge fan of doing weighins in the morning.  Maybe I am partial to it because that is how it is done for most judo tournaments (there are some that do day before, but never matside).  But I like how smooth it makes the rest of the day.   The one thing I am not a huge fan of that Grappling Industries still does, is use the IBJJF GI weight classes, but allow people to weighin without their gi.   The Gi weight classes have a pretty significant weight allowance built into them to accommodate people wearing a gi. So they should be using the NOGI weight classes if they let ppl weigh in without their gi.

I did get a few minutes to sit down and watch my friend Quincy referee.  She is a pretty new referee, but she controlled the action well and I didn't see any glaring issues or problems.  She handled the small space well, and did a good job positioning herself to see the action.  All the other referees were fairly experienced.  I do feel a bit bad for them, compared to the GTA, they don't have nearly as many opportunities to referee and stay sharp.

True North BJJ was there snapping pictures.  I think Scott took probably 700 or so.  He was all over the place and didn't rest all day. I don't know how he did it, especially with his bum knee.   You can check out their photo galleries on facebook by liking their fanpage. Here is a shortcut to one of the three albums.  True North BJJ is a new media/information/whatever outlet for the Jiu Jitsu community In Ontario and Canada.  It focuses more on the information and events and less on the memes and douchbaggary that seem to be becoming more and more popular around the interwebs.

This tournament has out-grown it's current venue.  With 5 mat areas there wasn't a lot of spectator room, and the gym got very very hot and stuffy by mid-afternoon.  This is great for the promoters and for the scene in Montreal in general, but they may have to start looking for a mid-size venue to accommodate the growth.  Being able to it 6 mat areas, with ample safety room and spectator room would make for a shorter day and would be more comfortable for everyone.  I do congratulate Grappling Industries on the growth though, it's great to see more and more competitors coming out to events in Montreal.  It seems like Montreal has a very different scene then Toronto, and I am not sure why.  Montreal is  huge city, and there are other cities in driving distance that also have pretty good BJJ clubs in them (Ottawa for one).  There certainly is a lot more MMA and Judo guys coming out to these events then any events in the GTA.

Alasdair had a pretty decent day, especially if you take into consideration that he doesn't really like nogi,  has a hyper extended elbow, and wasn't feeling well.  None of that stopped him from going 4-0 in the round robin, with 3 slick subs, and one win by points.  Unfortunately it all caught up with him, and he didn't exactly perform to his full potential in the final against fellow Grappling Industries sponsored competitor Maxime Poulin.  To be fair, Maxime is an absolute beast and destroyed pretty much everyone he fought!  You can read up a bit more on Maxime on the Grappling Industries website.

There were a few competitors that I refereed that really stood out in mind mind.

Starting of with Scott Jutras, he placed 2nd in the -195 nogi advanced division.  He's a 10th planet guy and had a bunch of very quick, slick subs.  I was impressed with his composure when he got taken down (straight to a guillotine) and his transitions were very smooth.  

In the big guys category, 2 competitors stood out: Eric Chibuluzo, who is actually only a white belt, and is a super athlete with an insane will to win. He shut down the game of much more experienced competitors.   He is going to be a force to be reckoned with when he has a few years of experience under his belt.  Also standing out was Jeff Muir,  had never seen Jeff compete before, and his style was so relaxed and controlled.  He was also ridiculously friendly, having a chat mid-match on at least one occasion.  He didn't win medal, but he just stood out as a great competitor.

Of course, no grappling industries is complete without the ankle lock king, Jon-Taine Hall.  Everyone knows it's coming, and no-one can stop it.   In one match, he was down on points, and there was less the 30 seconds left and he pulled an ankle lock out of nowhere to get the tap!    Jon-Taine is a super humble competitor as well, and he always(from what I've seen anyway)  gives guys a chance to tap before he really puts the pressure on.

Well, I'm pretty sure this version of the post is entirely different then the original, but that's what you get when my phone craps out on me.   I apologize for taking so long to get it finished, It's pretty un-motivating to have 2 hours of work disappear.  I guess it's not safe to assume the mobile app auto-saves as anally as the web interface.

So, coming up next:

Sept 7th: Grappling Industries: Sunshine Boulevard Toronto. There will be trips to Miami and NOGI worlds to be won.  Also, I think the brand new amazing podium made by Gabrielle will be debuted!

Sept 21st:  The GTA Classic  This OJA event is one of my favourite events of the year. It's like the back to school tournament. It's GI only, and they are working on some pretty cool prizes.  There will be samuri swords for absolute winners which is pretty badass.

Oct 5th:  Grappling Industries:  HWY 401 Edition: Montreal.  They are giving away a 8 trips to Toronto for the next Grappling Industries event in Toronto.  I think this is a pretty cool concept, and I hope it helps kind of bridge the gap between the two scenes.  It's also cool that they are giving away 8 trips, so almost everyone will be able to get a chance at one.  If you are from the GTA, you will, of course, be able to cash-out the trip.

Oct 12th  SAU 3 In Montreal.  These guys are kind of new to the scene, but have put on 2 events in the past.  I have never been able to make it out to one because of scheduling, but I have heard good things.  They do sub-only and double elimination, so it's a little different then the everyone else, so check it out.

Oct 19th: OJA Ottawa BJJ Open. Not to much information out about this one yet.  I get my ottawa events mixed up. There is two each year.  They are a good chance to test your skills against the Ottawa competitors because they come out in full force.

That's enough upcoming events for today!  There are more, like another Grappling Industries Toronto,  OJA provincials, and the IBJJF Montreal Open.  But this is long enough, and there will be plenty of posts to write about them as they approach.

Finally:  I haven't talked about my shoulder much.  It's now been 3 months and a couple weeks since it was injured. I had an MRI (A), got the results, talked to my sports doctor, and picked up the MRI cd.  I am now waiting for an appointment with a surgeon.   There was some talk of not doing surgery, because the tears (labrum and bicep tendon)  are small, but because of where they are, they are still affecting my day to day (sleeping, driving, typing, laundry), they are going to fix it.   Dr. Levy was confident I would be able to see the surgeon in a couple weeks (it's been two since i saw him, I should probably check up on that), and have the surgery before the end of the year.   I haven't bee training or using it really the last few weeks, so it feels not to bad.  Next week I am going to train, and teach, so we shall see how that goes.  It will probably go poorly, and I will end up having to take advil for a week again. Whatever.

Alright, this really is the end.  Thanks for reading and see you on the mats (or side lines, or wherever).

No comments:

Post a Comment