Tournament: US Grappling Submission Only IV, gi

Today we were back for gi at USG Sub Only IV. Update: all results are posted on the NHBGear forums.

The women’s divisions, which all started on one mat, got started a little late because our ref was first fighting in his division. But not a problem. The gym was again very hot, and of course the gi made it even hotter.

Ryan Hall and Seph Smith ended up against each other in their division’s finals. They just played around for a few minutes, rolling lightly.

Found out early that there were 3 girls in the White Belt and 3 girls in Absolute. But, there were no girls in my weight class, so they bumped me up to the 130-145, though both girls were on the smaller side of it anyway.

A big Thank you to all the folks who helped me out from the sidelines in my two matches today. I don’t even know who you all were, but I really appreciate it.

They started with purple belt girls and worked down. Finally got to me and Lo, who I’d met at the Open Mat in Richmond last month and had rolled with several times then. I knew she’d be tough, and she didn’t disappoint.

I don’t remember much of it. 😛 She pulled guard, I tried to posture up; she tried to cross-collar choke me, I somehow got out. I got under mount (doh!); she tried to cross-collar choke me. I eventually got out, though it was short-lived, and I was back under mount again; she tried to cross-collar choke me. I think I must’ve escaped again, and she tried to cross-collar choke me again. (Anyone else seeing a pattern? I sure was — but I was considering that she was really trying to set something else up, so I tried not to overcommit to defending my neck too much.)

I kicked her across the face once on accident while trying to walk up to a higher guard; she got me back with an inadvertent eye punch later. I might even get a little black there. 😀

I think I got a hook or two in a time or two, but nothing seemed to be really effective, and I’d wind up back under mount again, defending my neck. At one point, she got my ankle and went back for the straight ankle lock; she had her top knee across my hips so I couldn’t posture in to her. A girl on the side finally called out to turn my heel into her ribs and to grab her lapel — no, her other lapel — and pull myself in. (I’m not sure who you were, but thanks!) Eventually got enough leverage to get around and out.

Not sure I ever got to top with Lo; I think I was fighting off my back most of the time. Did wind up back in her guard a time or two more, though I wasn’t getting anywhere trying to break it. At one point, probably when I was back under mount again, I remember thinking, “One of us needs to get a submission soon, or I’ll have to tap from being so tired!” Kept fighting, though, and I think my hips did a few good things that I totally wasn’t expecting them to do. Nice job, hips! I think I had a north/south kimura escape to turtle, but couldn’t grab a leg; she may have had or nearly had my back, but I somehow got away from that.

But finally, back in her guard again, she caught that cross-collar choke and got the angle real sharp, and I couldn’t defend it. Started tapping, but my hand was on the far side of her face and the ref wasn’t watching there (and she wasn’t letting go until he saw); I finally croaked out, “Taaaaaap!” and the ref stopped us. Ref had to pick me up; I was tired — that match was 13 minutes long! Felt so much longer.

I got a break for a little while and watched a few more girls’ matches go. Too soon, though, they called me to go against the third girl in our division, Trish. I thought I was okay; I felt fine.

We started, and I got a double-leg takedown. A takedown, I got a real live takedown!! Sweet! Didn’t secure the position quickly enough on the bottom, and she got back to guard. She started fighting for the cross-collar choke. Hey, wait a second, I just lost on that. Nyuh-uh, you can’t have it, too — only one per day. I think she swept me or opened her guard or something; I somehow ended up on my back, playing from guard and open guard. She was fiesty (probably trying to overwhelm me and finish me off quick, since I’d just had a long match), and I quickly realized that I was still tired. No gas in the tank. Crap.

Somehow, I don’t know how, I survived that initial onslaught. I thought I was done several times. She could hit nearly any sweep at will as I didn’t have much defense for them. My hips were working on their own, though, which was good — my brain had no clue what we were doing. She had an armbar from mount, which I managed to follow up and stack. I think I followed that with a double-under pass, maybe; that was in there somewhere, though I couldn’t manage to secure the position afterward. She had a few other armbar attempts from mount, but I think her weight dropped on her legs first, so I had space to shrimp out the back door. I don’t know how I escaped sometimes; my body was working on its own.

My brain started asking if I wanted to tap from exhaustion. Then another little voice said that Tim and Justin and Adam would probably never speak to me again if I did. Darn it, have to keep fighting. And then I heard a number of girls on the side giving me advice and encouragement (and Fred and Sundance in there, too), so I plunged back in.

We had to reset at one point since we were rolling off into the middle of some other matches. She started crawling back. Finally realized that she seemed nearly as exhausted as I was, and this was only her first match. Alright, I can do this. Keep fighting, chica.

I’d been catching several triangle-to-armbar transitions, but she’d escaped from the first few; I just couldn’t hold on. Also, I think my hips weren’t quite deep enough. Saw another one and shot my legs up for the triangle; she postured, so I switched to the armbar. This time, someone yelled to roll, so I rolled toward my stomach. Couldn’t quite get over because she’d grabbed my lapel and was pulling for all she was worth. Somehow, finally, her grip broke and I got all the way over. My legs were burning, I couldn’t breathe, my arms were going numb. But I heard Sundance say to arch my hips and Liz, I think, to pinch my heels, and other girls calling other things, so I held on and held on and arched and pinched and just when my brain started saying that my body was about to just give in and collapse I heard the ref say, “Tap! She tapped!”

Oh thank goodness… I did collapse then, belly down, and just laid on the mat and smelled that new mat smell. I didn’t even know where we were on the mat or even which way was up. I finally poked the ref’s foot and asked him to help me up. He said, “What, again?” I said, “Yes, please.” So he pulled me up — and propped me up for a minute — and then raised my hand. Ah, I do like that part.

That match was over 9 minutes. I couldn’t feel my arms. I couldn’t think straight. I stumbled over to Fred and Sundance on the side and then collapsed on top of Sundance.

Done, I was done. Couldn’t even talk. I finally got Fred to go tell Chrissy that I wasn’t going to do the Absolute, that I had nothing left. She made fun of me :P, but then did take me out. (And she gave me an arm massage. Hurts so good… and I could feel my arms again afterward.) I know I could’ve gone and laid there and tapped and gotten a 3rd-place medal, but I didn’t want to do it if I wasn’t going to make a fight of it. And I knew I had no energy available. So Lo and the other girl (not Trish, a different girl) had a single match in the Absolute, which Lo won in a few minutes by RNC.

And in our division, because Lo beat me and I beat Trish, then Lo beat Trish by the transitive property, so Lo was 1st, I was 2nd, and Trish was 3rd. We’d all forgotten to get our medals, though, so they had to track us down later and give them to us. I talked to Trish and one of her coaches for a little while; one of their teammates is heading to Tech this fall, so he should be coming over to train with us.

Sundance was originally bumped up in weight (from 150-159.9 to 160-169.9), but another 159 guy showed up, so he went against that guy. I don’t know how long it was, maybe 6 minutes?, and the other guy finally caught a guillotine that Sundance couldn’t get out of. He also tore open his ear, which had been cut in class last week, so he decided not to compete in the Absolute, either. He and his girlfriend left after that. I hung around a bit longer to drink Gatorade and energy drinks until I felt like I was able to drive home. I figured if I stopped at my aunt’s first for a shower and nap that I’d never get back on the road.

While I was hanging around, I met a ninja. (This blog thing is sometimes weird, because people you’ve never met know who you are. 😛 And you know who other people are, and you can point them out at tournaments and think, “I know who that is.”) Sorry I couldn’t take you up on the food; we’ll try next time.

In summary, this weekend I

  • saw lots of people I’d met
  • met lots of people I’d seen
  • collected several bruises of unknown origin
  • earned 3 hard-fought medals with four matches that I’m proud of

I’m still taking next week off. I’ve already raided the library for a stack of books, and I intend to catch up my Techniques page again. So, see ya in a week!

2 thoughts on “Tournament: US Grappling Submission Only IV, gi

  1. CONGRATS GIRL!!!! Those matches sounded LONG and hard and very well fought. You should be so proud. Everyone feels those temptations to tap just to get it over with when you’re super tired, not everyone fights through it and past it! Rock on! Whoohooo!!!

  2. Thanks! When they told us the time, I almost didn’t believe them — it seemed so much longer! But I gotta say: I like the sub-only format so much more than time limits. Much more fun, and more satisfying, to fight to a real end than to get the takedown and hold on for dear life.

    And I *am* proud of those matches. I found out that I’ve got less “give up” in me than I thought, which is good to know.

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