US Grappling Submission Only Richmond, December 1, 2012

Back in tournament action! I haven’t been able to compete since I tore my MCL at the end of March, but I’d decided that, no matter what, I was going to do this one. Today, I feel like I’ve been beat with a baseball bat, especially my upper back and shoulders, but I’m still happy.

The absolute best part of the day: I competed without my cyborg knee braces, and my knee did wonderful. (Of course, my game doesn’t include much bridging at the moment and my hooks are weak because they haven’t been worked much recently, but still.)


  • nogi weight class: 1st
  • nogi absolute: lost first match
  • blue belt weight class: 2nd
  • blue belt absolute: lost first match

Quite a few of my teammates competed in this tournament, too, and both of our instructors came to help coach. The guys did really well, and it was great to have the voices on the sideline telling me what to do and reminding me to relax.

I couldn’t make it down in time for weigh-ins on Friday night, so had to get in early on Saturday to weigh in. I weighed in, fully clothed, at 128lbs; I knew my clothes were 2.5lbs (I’d weighed them, lol); so that means I was actually **1 lb** over the 124.5 limit. In other words, I can totally make that, so no slacking next time.

On the other hand, my division (124.6 – 135.5) was combined with the one below, the one I was aiming for anyway. So I was there either way.

A huge thanks to everyone who videoed my matches for me!

Here’s what you do: right before a tournament, drastically change your hairstyle. In my case, I went from blond highlights to an overall daaaark color. I’ve also been growing my hair out for almost a year, so I look very different on camera than I’ve ever seen myself.

Then go do your tournament and watch the video afterwards. You won’t recognize yourself, so then you can evaluate yourself so much better. It’s weird, but it’s cool at the same time.

Lesson #1: giving up the armbar is not a valid mount escape! Gah. (I know the reason: it’s because I haven’t been able to bridge for months, and it hybridized off of big guys sitting on my ribs trying to pry the arm off and so just giving it to them so I can get with the breathing again. Still, needs to be fixed.)

Intermediate, weight class (113.5-135.5) — 1st place

A round-robin, so had to win 2 for gold.

Match 1 – Colleen

Match 2 – Bethany

Intermediate, absolute

There were 6 women in the division, so 2 women had byes. I didn’t, so I fought in the first round.

Match 1 – Yvette

All my silly finger waving in the beginning was me asking her to remove her bracelets and explaining that I was nervous about small joints getting caught.

Blue belt, weight class (113.5-135.5)

Match 1 – Heidi

Match 2 — Bethany

Watch the match in the background (to the right) starting around 1:50. (And then hear my camera crew — I think that time was Yvette, who I fought in both Absolute matches — say that they got in film for me to watch later, lol.)

End of this match, the ref stopped us because her hand bounced up and tapped my knee, though I knew that she was only coming up to push it off and then changed her mind. But when the ref said, “Stop!”, I stopped. That’s what we’re sitting there talking about. (On the other hand, that’s my armbar, yo. That’s going home with me.)

Blue belt, absolute

Same setup as the Intermediate — 6 women, 2 with byes in the first round. I fought Yvette again.

Match 1 – Yvette

All the dancing in the beginning is me making fun of the ref because we kept standing on the side we wanted, but he’d give us the opposite color and we’d have to switch.

Yes, same girl. Yes, also an armbar. (Guess what I’m gonna work on now?)

Yvette and Kim Rice fought each other four times that day — in both weight classes and closing out both absolutes. And their gi absolute match was a battle. Wow.

Throwing this post up. Heading to my parents’ for dinner, since I have little food in the house right now. Doh.

8 thoughts on “US Grappling Submission Only Richmond, December 1, 2012

  1. Okay, whoa. What is this heresy about giving away an armbar isn’t a valid mount escape?! Since when? (And crap, that means I’ll have to develop a valid mount escape besides biting… those were my two – gift arm and biting)

  2. Hey! I’ve been following your blog for a little while now and I have a couple of questions for you. How soon into training did you start competing, and anything you wish you would have worked on prior to? I have a fantastic team and they really help me work on a lot of whatever I want, but I still have this level of frustration where I mentally know how something is supposed to work and physically my body just says, “uh, no.” I have been at it for almost 9 months now, my professor says, “you’re still learning! Just keep going, it will come!” and I’m getting mighty impatient with myself. Our schedule is getting switched up a bit after the first of the year so we will have more jiu jits time, hoping that will make a difference. I’m hoping this frustration will pass with time (although its already been a while), and was looking to see if you had any opinions or advice. It seems like even though we train physically, its the emotions that really need the work. Thanks!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. I competed after almost a year (10 months). I wish I had rolled with other women before competing because OMGWFTBBQ! they were not what I expected. Women are fierce when they compete. So I was completely unprepared for that. And possibly more work starting standing would have been nice, even if only for pulling guard.

      But otherwise, I went in to my first tournament with the goal of learning how tournaments work. I used to do Tae Kwon Do, and I had waited until I was a black belt there before competing. Mistake!! So I knew I needed to start competing in BJJ when I was a clueless white belt.

      Oh, yeah, I was frustrated, too, about so many things when I started. (One example post is here.) And it probably continued for the first three years or so. I think the things to do is to figure out what your expectations are, why they aren’t being met, and what (if anything) you can do either to fix the problem or to adjust the expectation. Because sometimes our expectations — and the pressure we put on ourselves — are actually slightly unreasonable.

      But your coach is right — just keep going; you’re still learning. And more mat time has a way of resolving many things.

  3. Thank you so much! I have been itching to compete lately but I will make a point to do more work from standing if thats where a lot of it starts. I actually have one other girl in class that I always roll with, but we work well together and beat the hell out of one another (^_^) without much of an issue. She’s been doing it almost a year more than me and is very patient when it comes to my own frustrations. Your’s feel identical to the ones I’m at right now; I come from kickboxing and really felt like a champ at it, so going from Black Belt awesome boss girl, to white belt lowest on the totem pole is a bit of an adjustment. Pride has a lot to do with it, too, I think. Something I will just need to work through in time, is what it sounds like. Thanks again, much appreciated!

    PS (glad to know you’re knee is cooperating!)

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