Note to self: do not drive down — and then back — on the same day of a tournament. Is not pretty.
- I lost my nogi — again — but won 3rd in gi
- Four of our guys got first; another got a 3rd
I woke up this morning and then drove down to Charlotte. Took me nearly 3 hours. Not recommended.
I’d realized that there was a discrepancy between the experience brackets on the registration page and the main event page after I’d registered, so when I got there I talked to the girl at the registration table and she bumped me up to Intermediate nogi. (Still White Belt gi.)
Weighed in at 123 even. That was in my nogi gear, instead of street clothes and shoes like I did last time. So I was probably 3 meals away from 119. I think I will definitely make a run at getting to near 119 for my walking-around weight; I think I can do it.
The guy told me when I weighed in — and he was writing it down on my Intermediate nogi card — that there were lots of girls in my division. I think there were 10, if I’m doing my math right; the girl who won had 4 matches, I think, in that division.
Got there, and two of our teenagers were already competing. One had actually just won his division; the other had one more match, and then he also won. Sat up with Clifton’s girlfriend and Brandon’s wife and took some pictures.
At NAGA VA, they wanted to finish all the kids’ divisions and all the teens’ divisions before they would start the adults, saying they didn’t want any adults trampling on the kids. And there were lots of delays with the kids that day, so the adults didn’t start until late, and the whole day took forever. Today, though, they went ahead and started the masters while the kids were still going. Which was good, because the kids still weren’t done on some mats by the time the masters were starting to wrap up on others. We were actually out — and most rings were finished — by 6pm. (Contrast to NAGA VA, when that was the end of my beginner gi division.)
Because they were actually moving through the divisions, they called all women competitors for nogi and gi to turn in our cards. So I grabbed all my stuff and headed down to Ring 1, where I camped for the rest of the day. Still took them a while to get to us, but that was okay.
I did actually eat today — protein bars — and had both Gatorade and water. So I wasn’t about to pass out like NAGA VA. Remember to eat: your division will always be later than they say.
Most of my teammates were competing at the same time. I got some pictures from my vantage point, though I was generally far away. None of the guys were able to corner me, though, since they were all competing or cornering each other. But for several of them, it was their first competition, so they needed it more.
First nogi match, finally. Angela, I think, and I think she’d already competed in the Masters’ division and won. (Hadn’t paid too much attention, though.) We locked up, and you know how you can just tell that someone really knows what they’re doing? Yeah… She pulled guard, so down we went. I was fighting to break it, though wasn’t very effective. I heard her coach walking her toward a triangle, so of course I was trying to avoid it. She got a higher guard despite my efforts and then swept me, so she got 2 points. She ended in a higher mount; I had one elbow trapped under her leg, and was grabbing the other hand and bracing back toward her hips.
Her coach started walking her through getting that triangle. It was kind of odd, though — he was giving really specific instructions like, “Pull on her head with your right hand” or “Push on her elbow with your left hand” or “Move your left knee forward 2 inches.” I remember sitting under her and thinking, “She seems really competent, so why are you walking her that minutely through this?” And she wasn’t doing anything unless he told her to. It was… strange. I kept trying to bridge and/or brace my arms against her body, but I couldn’t get out and she wasn’t finishing it. (It felt to me as if she could’ve finished it on her own, but her coach wasn’t giving the right instructions.) We ran out the clock, and she won on her sweep.
But then she went on to win the whole division (the one with 10 or so girls), so I didn’t feel too badly. (And then she suited up for gi: two-stripe blue. Oooohhhh…. And she won that, too.)
My neck started hurting after that match, though, and hurt all day. I’m even icing it now and am already planning to call Big Tom’s chiropractic place on Monday and schedule a massage. Is much ouchy. (Also, my knee — which has been hurting since last week when all the guys decided that grinding elbows into it was the best way to break my guard — was icky all day. Stiff and ouchy. You forget things during adrenaline rushes, though.)
I think they actually had all weight divisions for all experience levels. There were a lot of girls there. There were even purple belts girls. (They’re real!) I admit I stared when I saw the first one walk out with her belt on. First female purple belt I’ve ever seen…
During one match — once we got to gi, I think, or right before — a girl got her elbow popped out. I didn’t see it, thank goodness, but they had to stop all action on our mat and bring over the medics. I think they took her straight out to the hospital. The girl who was fighting her felt horrible.
On to gi. First girl (Dianne? Dianna?), I grabbed on to her and pulled her down. Got guard, but then we went to grip fighting. She was extending her arms, and several times I thought about trying for armbars, but for some reason never did. Opened my guard to try to sweep her at some point, but couldn’t get it off. Then couldn’t get back to full guard, and she eventually passed, so 2 pts to her. Under side control, and couldn’t get out. Her corner eventually pointed her at the far-side kimura, but I was able to defend it, though was still under side control. But then time ran out, so she won on her pass.
I thought this would be another large division, but the lady at the table grabbed me as I came off and told me I had another fight. Seriously? Am tired. Grips shot. They gave us a break, of course, and started the next divisions. (One of the girls in one wasn’t wearing her mouthguard; while they were standing and grip-fighting, she accidentally got knocked in the lip. It started bleeding and wouldn’t stop, so she had to withdraw.)
I’d already decided that for this last one I wanted to grab on to her and have her think, “Holy moly, she’s strong!” Grips felt good and strong. We headbutted a little on accident when we first closed in. Pulled her down; didn’t land in guard, but eventually got back there. Unlike the corner that was telling the girl what she should do in minute detail, this girl’s corner was telling her what not to let me do… which is of course my clue that something is available. “Don’t let her grab your collar” = grab that collar. “Don’t let her get that triangle” = triangle? Where? Oh, there! Mine. Had it locked up within a second of her corner announcing that it was there. Then he said, “Don’t let her roll you over.” Roll? There’s a roll? Oh, that way? Oopsy-daisy. Her face was turning purple, but she kept trying to fight it. Got the underhook and the angle, and then heard someone yell “Hug your knee!” (though I’m not sure they meant me); hugged my knee and her head and she finally tapped.
I got 3rd, then, in the White Belt gi division. Hearing your name called over the loudspeaker — I like that…
NAGA NC, Women's White Belt, Light weight
I’ll say this for the girls — the ref didn’t see half the taps, but the girl who won would immediately let go and the other would admit they’d gotten caught. Bravo, girls. (I did see Clifton finish an armbar — the guy tapped; I could see it from my angle — so Clifton let go. But the ref hadn’t seen, and then the guy turned on Clifton and started attacking. Made Clifton mad, though, so he turned it up even more and finished him.)
I grabbed my stuff and trekked around to where Brandon, Clifton, and Adam were. Got there to see Adam win his nogi division. Then we watched one of our guys on the other side choke his first gi opponent out with a triangle; the guy didn’t tap. (Don’t know if he did it on purpose, or just thought he could keep fighting.) We watched the guy’s free arm go limp, and then his legs went, and then our guy looked back at the ref and said something (presumably, “I think he passed out”), at which point the ref ran around and checked and called the match.
Once everyone from our team was done, Adam and I headed back home; the other guys are staying another night in NC. Remind me again not to tack on so much travel — or at least to take a driver with me!
- I only jerked girls down toward guard and didn’t actually do any takedowns. But, I did feel more comfortable standing up (though I did want it on the ground as quickly as possible).
- I need to work my grip strength more. Forearms were shot after the first gi match.
- I did actually grab the other girls’ gis! And pulled the fabric around. Okay, so I didn’t do anything brilliant with it, but I did start working with it, which is a step up.
- I hesitated to throw submissions in the first gi match, thinking that she’d pass and get points if I missed. (She passed anyway, and a submission would’ve ended it.)
- Did somewhat better on the adrenaline rush — and letdown — and did better about keeping hydrated and fed.
- Still took too much stuff, and forgot the ibuprofen. Is important.
I’m taking Monday off to take a friend of mine out for her birthday, which is actually today.
As of last week, it was just me and Clifton going to US Grappling’s Submission Only next weekend. But Clifton’s been working on the guys this weekend; now Yoshi’s talking about coming, too. I’m definitely going to work a way to get off early on Friday and head up for weigh-ins, food, and rest.
And then I’m taking at least a full week off. Maybe get a few more massages.
I kept thinking during the day that I don’t ever want to do this again, and then by the end, I was thinking, “All right, another one next weekend! Wohoo!” *shakes head*