My goodness, what a weekend!
To make a long story short:
- Had 80 minutes total rolling time over 7 matches, including one 50-minute match (2nd match).
- Lost all 7 matches — but since I was going for the experience anyway, it’s all good.
- Did get a 2nd and a 3rd because there were only 2 or 3 of us in the division.
- Got to work tables for the 2nd half of the day.
- Lo got her blue belt at the end of day!!!
- We didn’t leave until nearly 10pm, and there were still matches going on.
Results are up here
The long story:
Friday, one of the guys called. He couldn’t get off work early — and possibly wouldn’t be able to come at all — so, since I was cutting weight, Buddy and I left at 4:00 to head to Richmond. We got there around 7 and weighed in; I was at 129 without having to strip. My streak (ha!) continues. Then we went out for steak. Yum, steak…
Saturday morning, we got there by 10. Referee meeting, Rules meeting (they go over illegal techniques at each level, explain “reaping the knee”, and let you ask questions), and then the blackbelt fights started.
Eric Burdo and Rudy Fischmann first. Not sure how long that went. Eric finally won, and then Dennis Hayes and Steve Bowers started. The place was great during those two fights: so quiet except for a corner or two muttering, until someone had a great escape or reversal, after which everyone clapped and hollered for a moment. At some point, they made an announcement that the regular brackets would start at 11:20 or after the black belts, whichever came first. Dennis & Steve were still going then, so they started slowly closing off parts of the mat to them (the black belts had had free range at first) until finally 7 divisions were going around them. Dennis won.
Girls started on mat 1. Two advanced/purples (Elyse and Melissa), and then us intermediates. Four of us, 115 – 145lb. I drew Lo first. 14 minutes. Don’t remember much of the day at all except that I was playing defensively nearly the entire time of every match. Oh, and that Lo has a great ankle pick takedown. Lo’s mount control is wicked; there is no space at all. Had her in my guard a while, but couldn’t get her posture broken enough to even attempt anything. Don’t remember what she finally caught me in. Little break, and then Shannon Pedroni (from the nogi intermediate absolute in July) and I had the 3rd place match.
50 minutes. Five zero minutes. That. is. nuts. It was fun, but it was nuts. And we were moving nearly the entire time, too, no stalling (not that there is stalling in a Sub Only). Short pauses to both take a few deep breaths, and then off we went again. We even stood up again two times during the match! I know I tried to work takedowns all day, but I think I only came close on one. (Probably always picked the wrong one for the situation — I was choosing based on what I could remember at the time, not necessarily what was there.) Her top side control is no fun to be under. I don’t know how, but I got in top half guard at one point, went for the D’Arce, she got her hand or arm in just enough to thwart it, I moved to north/south to hunt that kimura, she turtled, I went for the turtle reversal but for some reason couldn’t get it, came back around and set up the Peruvian necktie, only I think I grabbed her arm underneath instead of my own!, and I think I might not have had it set up quite right, thought about the armbar but she was out before I could do anything. After that, don’t remember, but I think she eventually got my back for a RNC. We collapsed together on the mat afterward.
Lo ended up winning the division. Little longer break while the beginner and novice divisions went. Not nearly enough time to recover after that last match. Shannon pulled out of the absolute, so it was me, Lo, and Laura. Me and Lo first. Argh! (But I mean that in the most complimentary way — she’s good, and I always draw her first.) :58 seconds. Doh. Ankle lock, I think. She’d gone for it multiple times in the previous match since I apparently tend to wave my feet and ankles out there for the taking. Wasn’t sure where the ref was, and I’d rolled to escape but had missed the push and she had it deep and we were both belly-down, so hollered “Tap!” so she’d let go, which she promptly did.
Since I didn’t do much in that match, the table asked if I needed a break before the next one. I said I was as ready as I’d get, so we went right to the next on. 1:58, I think. Laura had gotten my back early — I think I had the brilliant idea of trying to turtle and roll through something, only it didn’t work at all — and gone for an RNC, but had it right under my nose and was pulling back. I was thinking it was very close to a neck crank and it was really really starting to hurt in the back of my neck in ways that were not pleasant. Elyse was our ref and finally warned her that it was getting close to a neck crank, so she repositioned her arms and got right across my lower jaw instead. I dunno what happened, but something in my face hurt quick and hurt a lot, so I had to tap. She apologized; I said I was fine. I think I was more startled than anything else. [Although, when I got home today, I noticed that I had a bruise on my face right where she did whatever it was. So something did get hurt.]
Since there were 3 of us, it was a round-robin bracket, so Lo and Laura went later for 1st and 2nd, and Lo won.
Briefly light-headed after those two matches, which brought a moment of panic. Not is fun. Chugged more Pedialyte and chewed gum, which are my two favoriate tournament supplies now.
Longer break until gi somehow; I remember walking around in my gi for a long while. Went first with Laura. Not long, though, maybe a minute or two? (I wrote all my match times down afterward, and then left the paper with them there. Doh.) She got mount quickly, I got to my side, she got a bow-and-arrow grip on one side, I defended that, and then she ostensibly went for an armbar; I forgot about the lapel grip and only thought of defending the armbar, which put me entirely out of position to defend the choke. Doh! She said afterwards that that was exactly what she had been working to do anyway. Oh well.
Shannon again for 3rd place. Only about 9 minutes this time, and she finished me with a D’Arce where I was too slow on the defense.
I wandered away to see how Buddy was doing. At this point, whatever time it was, he had finally finished his nogi division (intermediate, 180 – 189.9) and had gotten 2nd and was waiting for nogi Intermediate absolute. As we all remarked several times during the day, the good thing about no time limit is that there’s no time limit; the bad thing about no time limit is… there’s no time limit. Several matches broke 1 hour, and that started setting everything behind and affecting other tables. I don’t think he’d even had a match in the absolute yet.
Sometime in there, Eric and Dennis fought for 1st and 2nd in the black belt division, and Dennis won. Don’t know about the 3rd place.
Then Elyse came and found me because, despite keeping an eye on Mat 1, I’d totally missed her absolute match and it was now my turn. Oops! (And I think she said her match was ~20 minutes? I must have zoned completely out. — Reading the Results again, I finally realized that Elyse and Melissa only had an absolute in gi, not a weight division. So what I thought was their weight division was their absolute.) Ran all the way around, tossed off my shoes, and jumped in. Shannon wasn’t feeling well and so had pulled out, so it was just me and Laura. This is the round I actually stepped in and turned like I might have known a hip throw… only I don’t, really, so it didn’t happen. Again I had the brilliant idea of turtling and rolling, only she got my back back again. Defending the RNC for a little while, but despite Shannon’s coaching, she finally got it in and finished. (Afterward, Shannon showed me how to wedge my defending arm in deeper to prevent them from getting their arm under my chin at all.)
Lo had also done 3 matches in white belt beginner and 3 matches in white belt absolute, and she won both divisions there, too. (Took a long while, too, and I don’t know how long she rolled total.) So after her last win, Andrew stepped out and promoted her to blue belt. Yay, congrats! Much deserved. (I’m sure the white belts are very relieved. 😉 )
Huge “Thank You!” to Paul, Shannon, Elyse, Buddy, and Lo — and anyone whose voice I couldn’t identify — who helped corner me during my matches. I’m sorry I couldn’t always do what you wanted, but I did very much appreciate it.
So, I got lots and lots and lots of mat time against some really good girls, which is all I really wanted anyway. I think I did some good things in my matches; I also did some dumb things and also saw where I need to really work on stuff that I might once again be assigning to the “the boys are just stronger than me” category. My cardio seemed great — I really didn’t feel tired after my 50-minute match, and I did stay in all of my divisions. (Didn’t have much power, and my brain & body weren’t quite on the same wavelength, but oh well.)
Buddy eventually ended with 3rd in the intermediate absolute about 9pm. There were some looong matches in that division. He’d had to miss all the gi divisions, though; they were being held up by the nogi absolute, but they were finally started anyway.
Chrissy recruited me to help with tables at one point, so I did that. (It’s pretty easy in a Sub Only — no points! Write down who wins, how long, and with what, and keep everyone in a bracket informed of when they’re on deck.) Our mat cleared about the time Buddy finished. The guy he beat in the consolation match had just had a 30-minute and then a 1hr 53min-match before and had started cramping up after Buddy RNC’d him, so Buddy and some other guys stayed with him and got him Gatorade until the paramedics arrived. The guy was okay, just dehydrated and a little light-headed, but wasn’t able to continue to the rest of his divisions — they had just finished nogi!
Sometime during the day, it started snowing and sleeting. Since it was already looking like we wouldn’t get out before dark, we decided to stay one more night in Richmond with my aunt. But first we stopped at BW3 for wings, football, and fights. The snow seems to be mostly cleared up this morning, so we’ll head back in a little bit.
Oh, I meant to add this this morning, but completely forgot: During the day, people kept coming up to me — and Shannon, too, I guess — to congratulate us on our 50-minute match and tell us how impressed they were with us. And to tell us that we were nuts for continuing to compete after that. 🙂