Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Montreal Pro Trials: Feb 22nd 2014 Recap

A couple weeks ago, we went to Montreal for the pro trials. For the first time since I can remember, the drive there wasn't horrible.  Last year, it was a nightmare, at one point, we though we weren't g-going to make it,even though we left on Thursday night!

We did hit traffic about 5 minutes into the drive, there was an accident on the highway just outside of hamilton, but nce we got past that, we decided to jump on the 407, since we were getting into rush hour time, and rush hour, on the 401 through Toronto, is not a lot of fun at all.

We stayed at the Universal Hotel, which is right across the road from the venue.  We like to stay here, because it's price is comparable to the mid-town, but has free parking, and is super convenient for walking to the venue.  When the tournament was 2 days it was even better because we could just go back and forth through out the day.

We headed over to the mid-town for weighins around 3pm, ended up parking on the street, and paying 9 bucks, which is cheaper then hotel parking, but still pretty ridiculous for a couple hours of street parking.  The worst part about paying or a couple hours of parking, was that we didn't use most of it, that's because, after we weighed in we attempted to get dinner at the hotel restaurant.

we got sat down pretty quickly, but that was it, we were there for literally 20 minutes and none of the restaurant staff even glanced at us.  It's like they were purposefully avoiding even looking at our table or walking near bye.  It was ridiculous.  we gave up, left, and ate dinner at our own hotel.

Our hotel restaurant was under construction, but they just had all the tables in one of the conference rooms and it was a-ok.  We got there before they were technically open, but they sat us and fed us anyway, which was nice.  The restaurant isn't cheap, but the food is pretty good and the service is decent all the staff we have dealt with in the times we have stayed spoke English well enough, and put up with our weirdness well.

Anyway... back to the event.  The level of jiu jitsu was really high, in the ladies divisions especially.  There were way more ladies then in any of the past Montreal trials.  There were 3 brown/black divisions and a light and heavy purple absolutes.   The two blue belt absolutes were way bigger then in the past as well.

One competitor that stood out to me, in the women's division was Dominyka,  She's from Marcelo Garcia's school and has fantastic jiu jitsu.  She just got her brown belt a couple weeks before worlds last year, and won her division there,  she won her division at the trials this year, AND the absolute.

The men's brown/black divisions were split up for the first time (that I can remember anyway) this year as well.  The brown belts got 2 absolutes and the black belts had a bunch of weight classes.   You can see all the results on the trials website here.

I ended up going home with a silver medal.  I won 1 fight, lost 1.  My first fight went pretty well, I actually worked on some things I've been training and was able to finish the fight with an armbar.  We did have a bit of a situation mid-match though.  We were near the edge and I was working to take her back.  I had a collar grip but it wasn't high, and we ended up mostly out of bounds,  the ref stopped us, and tried to re-start us in the middle, but her coach was having none of it.  The ref ended up giving her 2 penalties for delaying the match before she got back into position.  There beef was that we were "in a submission" and should be stood up and me get 2 points.  But, all I had was 1 collar grip on her back, and it wasn't near a sub.  She got out of that pretty quick and in the transitions I got the armbar.
My second fight was against Yacinta, who is awesome.  I pulled guard, and she smashed through it to half guard.  I almost got a kimura, but I held on to it way to long when it wasn't viable anymore, and it went down hill, quickly, after that.  I ended up in a triangle for about 4 minutes till the end of the match.  Not my best match by any means, but I learned some things to work on from it and my Jiu Jitsu will be better for it.

The tournament started on time, but ended up behind schedule by the end of the day.  We left around 7 and the blue absolute was just getting started.  Generally, the event ran really well.

Weighins and checkin were pretty quick, but strange.  We had to weigh in with our gis, but it was day before weighins.  To me, the only reason to weigh in with a gi on is, because the IBJJF does weighins right before the division, so t gt through it quickly and get the matches running, you have your gi on so you don't have to go change.  It's weird to require a gi when weighing in the day before.   It's not really bad,  just strange.  They weren't even inspecting the gis at weigh ins, that happened at the venue before the matches to.  So you could weigh in with one gi, and compete in another.

This year was the first time they did the event all in one day which made for a really long day.  Especially because there were more kids competing, and a lot more masters then in the past.  They gave out 5 kids trips, which were "to be decided by the organizer".  Personally, I'm not sure kids should be competing for trips at a scale like this, it is a cool opportunity for them but it's a lot of pressure and also puts a lot of financial pressure  on the parents as well.  I don't think there should be masters either.  They can't win a trip and it adds a lot of time to the day.  Either get rid of the divisions, or give the trips!

On the way home, we discovered something horrible  The onRoute service centres on the 401 only have tim hortons open after 9pm on weekends.  During the week they are open much later, but apparently, on weekends, they all shut down at 9, even the convenience stores aren't open.  We ended up stopping in Brockville to grab some pizza hut.   It was a weird pizza hut, that didn't follow the same promos that most of the pizza huts do.  But, it was quick and we pretty much always get pizza after competing.

Te drive home was really uneventful, the guys slept most of the drive, as usual, and there wasn't snow to deal with which was amazing.  We made great time, even with our 2 gas stops and the pizza stop.

There were a bunch of photographers at the event.  One even got a few decent shots of me!   You can see that album here.  It's linked one one of the pics of me, but there are hundreds of pics in the album.  The talented Erin Herle's (who was multi-tasking at the event,  winning the light purple absolute, and taking amazing pics)   album can be found here.  She worked with Martin to take pics for Gracie Mag.

I also took a bunch of pics, but my camera battery was dying, so I didn't get many. You can check them out on facebook if you like.

That's all for now!   See you on the mats!

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing! - Josh Ketry