Sunday, 6 July 2014

10 Years of BJJ - My Jiu-Jitsu Journey - Part 9 (Braulio's Competition Part 2)

(This is part 9 of this series. If you haven't seen part 8 it can be found here.)

Okay, so I get called to fight. Now, I am feeling really confident. The match starts and within 20 seconds I get a standing guillotine, but Victor Estima, who was the referee, stops the match and gives me a warning, as it was a neck crank. Really, I had no idea that was illegal, as I didn't fully know the rules.

So the match restarts and I attempt to get a foot sweep. After a few botched attempts I finally get it and land straight into side control. I didn't have much success with double leg take downs in my previous competition history so I didn't want to take the chance and attempt one.

Now that I am in side control I could use my weight as a bit of an advantage (back in the day I was a little chubby). When I was younger, for whatever reason I loved to do the cross face choke (I think that's what it’s called). Basically, I put the blade of my forearm across their throat and apply pressure. Still to this day I don't know why I liked this choke so much, I mean it sucked! It was just so sloppy and untechnical, but to me as a thirteen year old it was the greatest submission on the planet.

It was whilst in side control trying to apply my crappy ass choke that I discovered something peculiar about the score board. I looked up and could see I was winning 5-0, but next to the five were numbers in red. Obviously, I now know they were advantages, but since I didn't know the rules, I thought they were negative points (for no other reason than they were the colour red). I just couldn't understand why he kept giving me negative points. I thought maybe it was because of the cross face, but honestly I didn't know.

Whilst distracting him with the cross face I transitioned straight into mount, and shortly after the match ended. I win 9-0. I think the time limit was only three minutes, but it might have been four, I can't really remember, but it felt like forever. I also remember being just flat out exhausted! It could have been just a big adrenaline dump or the fact that I was fat or maybe a combination of the two. 

Now, the second fight was kind or boring, as nothing really happened. It was pretty much a pushing competition on the feet for 95% of the fight and near the end I somehow bullied the guy to the ground to achieve two points and win the match.

The third round (or semifinal) was the most memorable fight of the competition for me, and was the first time I ever submitted somebody in a competition. When the match starts, I try my foot sweep again which I must have tried dozens of times throughout the competition by this point and ultimately, they all failed. Then out of the blue, the guy shoots a double on me and I panic. I try to sprawl but it was too late and in my sense of panic we somehow end up in a scramble and I bully my way to the top. 

I land in half guard with only my foot stuck inside. After a few seconds I manage to free my foot and get into side control. By this point everything is going 100 MPH, and it’s all just one complete blur. For some reason, I was so desperate to get into mount and in the process I get reversed and now the guy is in my guard. Oh s***!

Back in the day, my guard wasn't the best to say the least and pretty much the guy opened my guard in around 10 seconds and from there tried to pass. Now, at this point I know if the guy passes I'm pretty much screwed and there would be no way I would be able to escape. So out of desperation I immediately shoot up for a triangle and lock it in. After a few seconds the guy taps. I must say at this point I was pretty ecstatic! 

So that was it! I had made it all the way to the final. And my final match would be against the orange belt who I mentioned in the previous part. He pretty much wrecked everybody in under a minute on his way to the final but I was determined this wasn't going to happen to this fat kid from Skewen. 

I said before when I started the competition I was feeling confident, but now I was nervous, and I mean REALLY nervous. But what did I have to lose? Nothing! All I had to do was go out there and showcase my Jiu-Jitsu (which wasn't very much), but my Jiu-Jitsu got me this far, so you never know I might even win, but if I didn’t get submitted in thirty seconds that would also be an accomplishment.  

The final was here! The referee for the final was Otavio Sousa but at the time I had no idea who he was. To me he was just a tanned guy wearing a cap.

Straight off the bat the guy pulls guard on me, and you never guess what happens? I get arm barred in thirty seconds. Honestly, as soon as he pulled guard on me I knew I was screwed. He was just so much better than me. 

So that was it... I had lost in the final AGAIN! However, I wasn't that disappointed. I mean I beat three guys, submitting one of them and made it all the way to the final.  I didn't care about the gold medal; the experience was a thousand times better than that. 

After this day a lot of stuff changed. Probably the biggest thing was I started to become a guard player. All I wanted to do now was get better and carry on the journey.

 I hope you guys enjoyed this part of 'My Jiu-Jitsu Journey', and part 10 will be published soon.

Catch you later,



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  2. I like following your story. I think this sort of thing is way more than just learning to fight. It's a way to build character traits that are so helpful in life. A person that develops that sort of determination and discipline will be so well off in life. Keep posting!

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