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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Competitions? Pffft.

If you are my teammate, then you know how much I despise competing. I just don't have the heart of a fighter. I know I do better in training -- I've gotten out of bad positions, I've escaped submissions, I've tapped guys bigger than me. But in tournaments, I easily give up. I'm scared of getting injured, of getting my joints popped, or of passing out. And when I step on the competition mat, I just want to get it over and done with.

Photo Courtesy: The Stock Photo Guy

If you are a regular competitor, then you know that you fight to win -- not just to be an opponent for someone, but to f*ckin' win! I admire people who do great in competitions, because I am not like that. I have no idea why, but that gold bling doesn't really motivate me to push harder.

I recently competed again, just to give it a try. I was on vacation in Bangkok and since they are having the Bangkok BJJ Open on the same weekend, I signed up. I was terribly nervous on my first fight, but I actually enjoyed rolling with a girl I don't know. I had two matches, and lost in both, but I enjoyed going against women who got mad skills. My first opponent, a fellow Filipina from a team in Malaysia, advanced to two more matches to win the gold, while I have so much respect for my second opponent -- she won in the Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials earlier this year, and went on to represent BJJ girls in the region in Abu Dhabi!

Last weekend, my Coach asked me to fight a girl who doesn't have an opponent in the ADCC Asia-Pacific Championships, so I filled in. I lost again, and I know I could have tried harder to get out of the position, but I did not and I conveniently tapped. 

Photo Courtesy: teammate JC Gepte
So I did two tournaments in two weekends. But even if I lost in all my matches, I learned a lot:

  1. I need to work on specific positions and techniques.
  2. I need to set my mind on winning: not just to "have fun" at the tournament, but to freakin' get someone else's neck and choke the life out of her!
  3. I need to lose weight. I used to weigh 50kg. Now I'm at 62kg, so I am naturally fighting bigger girls at an unnatural weight.
  4. I need to condition my body. My opponents have been doing crossfit, plyometrics and what-nots, while I solely do BJJ 2-3x a week. I don't even run anymore!
  5. I need to go crazy during training. Sometimes I feel I am just "cruising" at training, rolling lightly, and just having fun. I should stop having fun and start going crazy!

I have to remember that my opponents don't just sit eating McDonald's while watching videos of cats on their free time, they actually condition their mind and body to fight! I don't know if I can dedicate the same amount of energy, but I'll try.


Right there with ya. I'm not interested in competition and came to BJJ exactly because I was tired of external goals. Glad you had a good time!

I'm glad to know I'm not alone! There's only one in my team who also despises joining a tournament, and the rest of them (including my coach) are all active competitors, and they all do very well. So it puts a lot of pressure on me to compete, and win!

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