US Grappling Richmond, June 21, 2014


  • Nogi, weight: 2nd of 2.
  • Nogi, absolute: 1st of 2.
  • Gi, weight: 2nd of 4.
  • Gi, absolute: did not compete.

I traveled up to Richmond on Friday for weigh-ins. Before I left the house, I was 0.1 lbs over the limit. Actually, before I left for work that morning, I was 0.1 lbs over, and despite attempts to coax that last bit out, I was still at that weight when I left. But I weighed in with room to spare, so that was good.

I left my iPod in the car and completely forgot about it until it was time to compete, so I don’t have any videos of my matches. Sad face.

Nogi, Advanced, weight

There was only me and Leah (from Fifty/50) for Advanced, and we’re in different weight classes. They gave us the option of doing only Absolute or of doing a “weight class” and an Absolute. Both, please. I knew from our last match that Leah likes heel hooks, and I was trying to remember to pay attention to my feet. But at some point I lost track of them and she caught that heel hook & gave me The Look, which says, “I have this. Are you going to be smart and tap now?” I was smart and tapped now (and my knee did not pop for no reason this time, yay!). Ended at 2:37.

Nogi, Advanced, absolute

In other words, exactly the same as before, lol. This time I’d recognized how Leah was using butterfly/x-guards to reel my feet in for easy catching, so I was working to keep my hips heavy so I could keep my feet out of reach. That part worked… but I gave up so many sweeps and mount and back and everything else. I glanced at the score once and saw that she was up 18-0. Oh, geez, getting destroyed here! She caught an armbar that my brain said was The End, but then I had this crazy idea that should have made the armbar worse but somehow ended up with me escaping. And then in the scramble I hit another guillotine, which had been happening in the first match but I hadn’t gotten my hips out or my wrist turned right — and I remembered both those things then and actually finished the submission. The time was 5:37, and she’d been up 20-0.

Gi, Blue belt, weight

The two smaller weight classes were combined (I think it was 3 in mine, 1 below). My first match was with Jessica. She pulled guard, I think, and I passed and then kept pressure down, mostly doing exactly what Andrew said; he made me slow down and wait for my points before moving on. I was thinking about chokes and arms, and then she moved her far arm in just the right place and I caught the americana. I didn’t finish it quite right — should’ve tucked it in closer first, and my weight was falling back on my knees when I stopped paying attention — but I did finish it.

Second match with Amber. Her movements felt very staccato, and I was having a hard time getting in the rhythm to do anything. She was passing with a strong knee drive. At one point, she did that again, and the bridge of my nose just happened to be directly in the path. I saw stars, went cross-eyed, and had tears streaming from my eyes. Ow, stop, stop, stop! Hurt so much. Inspection revealed that it was not broken and it didn’t gush blood, but man did that ever hurt. So I pulled out of the Absolute, knowing that I would be too cautious to be any good.

Nose is tender now and swollen. A bit of a headache yesterday and this morning, and I’m mostly following the post-concussion protocol I recently learned, just in case. Meh.

So, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and had actually made the decision before the tournament, but this was mostly likely my last tournament. First, I do not — and never have — enjoy competing. I did it because I felt like I “should”, that it was a part of BJJ and so I ought to do it. But overall I don’t enjoy it. (My favorite part of competing? Eating afterwards. Tied for second: when the ref lifts your hand in victory [gotta admit, that’s a nice feeling] and hanging around with all the grappley-type folks.) Second, I’m not very good at it, and I have no desire to be. And it really doesn’t make sense to participate in something that’s all about winning when you really don’t care about the winning. And third, I really really do not enjoy any of the preparation required, from watching my weight to extra extra-hard training rolls when I just want to pass out to packing & traveling. So, although I won’t say absolutely not, still it’s rather certain that this was the end of my competition career.


One thought on “US Grappling Richmond, June 21, 2014

  1. Well done Leslie 🙂 I’ve done a few tournaments this year and I have mixed feelings about competing. There’s no one else in my weight class anywhere that we can find so I am always moved up and I’m finding that very hard. (I am travelling for competitions but I’ve been told by other girls that I’ll probably have to leave the country to find someone my own size!) I’m very happy that I have tried it out – it’s something I thought I would never be able to even attempt. I love that my jiu jitsu seems to be improving faster since doing a few competitions. But I don’t think I can see myself having a long competition career. I think it’s something I’ll maybe do from time to time, for the learning experience, and/or for a day out with my guys. It’s a big time and training commitment, always competing against larger opponents is disheartening and the nerves are horrible! (Plus side, while all my teammates are cutting weight, I’m cramming in all the food I can get my hands on!)

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