Weekend shenanigans

Somehow I managed to get myself up, awake, packed, and out the door for Richmond on Saturday morning, heading to an Open Mat at Yamasaki. Even managed to be mostly on time. Sweetness.

Lots of folks for rolling. Blue belt Thomas, purple belt Ben, purple belt MikeByrd, brown belt Keith, blue belt Brain, and blue belts Paul and Laura from Philly. I think I managed 12 three-minutes rounds (?). Definitely know I got 3 with Keith, which was awesome, as he is very close to my size (for reals, this time) and we engaged in what he called “Damn Little People” jiu-jitsu. I did have to take a couple of rounds and attack my left quad with a foam roller as it had one really tiiiiight and uncooperative spot.

Sunday by 1ish, we were back in action at the US Grappling Referee Certification. After the aspiring referees sat through the rules explanation and such, a fair number of us suited up to provide live grappling rounds for the refs to practice on. I ended up doing mostly nogi rounds as a whole bunch of people indicated they only wanted to do gi rounds. I did definitely like that there were fewer refs this time and lots more grapplers, so I did a total of five matches and didn’t end up wrecked by the end. I’ve been at Ref Certs before with lots of refs and few grapplers, and you end up dashing from ring to ring, throwing on or off your gi and jumping in for your next round.

First round was with Barbara, simulating women’s advanced nogi. (Did you know they have to grapple for 6 minutes in that division?! Holy cats! That’s a long time at tournament pace!) (And the ref kept muttering, “Oh my God, this is so hard!”) Then a round with James, another Yamasaki blue belt, and we played crazy monkey jiu-jitsu, which was a whole heap of fun. Between rounds at some point, Chrissy was showing us something off half guard and swept me over in to the coffee.

For the next round, Brain pulled me and James aside and asked if we would simulate someone being choked unconscious during a match. I was to the be the chokee. So when the round started, James started feeding in some tight chokes, but I wanted to give the ref a little more actual reffing first so defended them. And then he sunk in a deeeeeeep, tight choke, and I thought, “Um… I might go out for reals here. Uh-oh….” I really needed to tap, but instead did my best to go limp without sinking further in to the choke.

Someone on the sideline said, “Uh, ref, I think she’s out.” I heard the ref say, “I don’t think she is” (probably because I was giggling at the fact that I might actually be unconscious for reals aaaannnny second now). Then Paul, who was on the far side of the room, heard the guys saying I’m out, saw me (attempting to be) limp on the mat, and barreled over to pull James off of me. I tried to stay limp, but I know I was shaking with giggles at this point. But his actions galvanized the ref, and they both turned me over and started raising my feet… at which point I couldn’t control the giggles any longer and busted out laughing.

When he realized he’d fallen for a trick, Paul glared at me and declared a death match. Several other people also came over to check on me while the next match was going on, also thinking that I’d actually been choked out. Ah, good times.

My death match with Paul came with the next ref, in women’s advanced nogi again. (That was Brain’s compromise — I had to do advanced again, but Paul got to be a woman. Yeah, okay, that works.) And it was about as much death match as a kitten attacking a patient mastiff, lol. One more round — a “white belt” gi match, since most of the other grapplers had left — with MikeByrd, which was much like the previous match but with slightly more blatant white belt “mistakes.”

After dinner, I drove home in the fog and rain (ew!). Nasty weather continues this morning, too.

Day 2: Choking out Girls

I slept like a log Friday night. It. Was. Awesome. I was even disoriented when I got up in the morning, and it took me a few minutes to figure out where I was and what was going on.

My weight ended up not mattering. There were 2 tiny Intermediate girls (under 113.5!), and then one girl — Krystol — in the weight class above me (so two above my normal class), so she and I were combined into one weight class. She was strong!! This one’s actually on video — Addie noticed my camera sitting on the table, so she recorded my match for me. Thank you! πŸ™‚

I turtled (I know, I know) to prevent her getting the pass points. I did get the half-guard sweep that Justin taught me back in November/December, that I’ve been working to get; nearly had it a second time, too. I remember her going for the arm triangle, and I thought, “Oh, no problem, I’ll just get on top and get out… Er… that’s pretty tight… er… I’m going to pass out… tap! tap! tap!” Barbara told me after the match that Krystol’s go-to submission is the arm triangle. Oh wells.

But none of the other girls signed up for the Intermediate Absolute and couldn’t be talked in to it, so I only got that one. I stuck around the girls’ table, though, and watched and helped. Addie, Jen Flannery, Rachel Demara, Rosie, Marissa, Tracey Goddell — there was some good grappling going on out there.

Kaila (I finally know how to spell his name for reals) was going on the mat next to us, so I darted over there to yell for him. I don’t think he won a match, but he was also competing in Intermediate for the first time. He’s trained long enough to be in that division, though he did take a nearly 2-year break in between. Once his nogi divisions were finished, he left.

Kaila (left)

Cheryl took over running the women’s table. Right after I started helping her with the brown belt women’s (2 brown belt womenses!), Andrew came over and pulled all blue belt women over to a mat on the far side. So I didn’t get to see any of the other women’s matches. *sad*

There were 4 girls in my weight class (well, it was combined again, with the next class up), so I reminded myself that I had to win at least 1 fight to get a medal. That was my goal — just win one.

I don’t have any pictures or video from these because my camera battery was dying and my iPod suddenly wasn’t charged. *boo*

First fight was against Missi from Richmond BJJ. She came to Grapple Camp on Monday only, I think, and I didn’t roll with her then, so I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t remember much of how the match went except that I got my current go-to open guard sweep (similar to a push version of a scissor sweep), and wound up on top and in good positions a few times and thinking, “Whoa, hey, how I’d get here?” I didn’t have anyone to corner me, so I was listening to her coach. She fell into my guard with one arm in and one arm out. Her coach yelled, “Watch the triangle!” And my lightning-fast mind said, “Duh…. what? Oh!” At least my body knows the mechanics of that one without me having to think too much. Wowzers, I won a match!

Second fight was against Krystol again. Alright, note to self: do not let her get that arm triangle! I did turtle again (I know, I know), and she did try for it again, but I think I got myself in a better position first before coming on top and escaping this time. Dear goodness but 6 minutes feels like a long time! Again, I was getting lots of positions and passes and pressure — even attempting submissions! — and thinking, “Who is this grappling here? I like her!” But honestly, for some reason I thought I was down on points; I think I thought I wasn’t getting good enough control or something to get the points, and she seemed to be sweeping and getting out a lot.

Had a double lapel choke right as time expired and was thinking, “Must… finish… to… win…” But she held out and defended. When time was called, I got a look at the scorecard: 17-2. And somehow, I thought her score was on the left. It wasn’t until Elyse flipped us around that I finally realized that that was my score on the left. I won a match. I won a finals match. Squeee!

There were also four girls listed for the blue belt absolute, so again, goal was to win at least 1 to get a medal. The table wanted to start the blue belt absolute right away, but I was listed first on that bracket and definitely needed a break. I told them I needed a few minutes, so they went ahead with the other match in the bracket — Jessy and Maria — while I rested and tried to massage my forearms into relaxing. No go. But while I was waiting, Liz came up and said she had to drop out of the absolute because she’d tweaked her hurt knee in her weight division match. So we let the other two girls rest (I think they started another division on the mat) while the bracket was redrawn, though the result of the first match was kept.

Eventually Maria and I were called for the second match. She was little and squirmy. Argh! Grappling little people is hard! (Yes, I know, I’m often the little person that everyone’s complaining about, lol.) I remember her coach calling out that she was ahead in points, so I fought for a sweep or pass — probably my favorite open guard sweep — and landed in mount. She might have gotten out, and then I had to do it again. Or not; I can’t remember. Not sure how the points ended up, though I think I was ahead, when I got to mount and slid around to technical mount and really started digging for her arm. I got it out, jerked toward her head to break her grip, and sat back. She tapped. Whoa, I won another one! What’s going on here?! I dunno, but I like it. πŸ˜›

Another break, though I really couldn’t feel my forearms at that point. Energy level = non-existent. Lovely. Finally got out there again to face Jessy. I knew she was tough, though I’d never rolled with her before, but OMG she’s also very strong. From standing, she started with some grips that I could not break. She kept trying to throw me. I think I butt-flopped to avoid being thrown. (I figured it would hurt, more than anything!) But then I spent the rest of the round not stopping her from passing, not stopping her from taking my back, not stopping her from just about anything. At one point, she had a body triangle from the back/side and was trying a bow-and-arrow choke; she also had a grip on my top pant leg and was driving it in to the other. So my legs were pinned, my hips were immobilized, and both hands were fighting that choke. I really couldn’t move at all. Elyse came around in front of me and said she needed me to move so she knew I hadn’t passed out. I waved, lol.

Then Jessy finally switched to mount and sat on my ribs. Owie, my poor ribs. I think they might be bruised from the body triangle. I was trying everything to not have to tap to pressure, and just barely resisted. She eventually isolated my arm and did the same armbar that Chrissy showed me at Addie’s Open Mat! Hey! I tried getting my arm out and couldn’t, and her weight was still on my ribs; I knew I was done, and really didn’t want her to feel the need to force that tap, so verbally tapped since the other hand was pinned.

So that gave me 2nd in the women’s blue belt absolute.

After some post-match rehydration, protein shake, and text messaging, I settled back in at the mat I’d just competed on and helped run the table for the rest of the day. I wish my camera had been working and I could’ve gotten a picture of Elyse reffing the men’s blue belt 188.5 – 215: really big boys, really little ref.

Rosie (top) and Tracey
Addie (left), Keith (center), Marissa (right) — and Klint in the foreground doing… something…
Rachel (top) and Tracey

Bonus Sunday Training

I think some of us must be certifiably insane.

All Saturday night, my neck was so stiff. I had trouble falling asleep, too, because I just couldn’t get comfortable. (Not the air mattress’ fault — all the bumps and bruises and aches and pains.) I think I finally dozed off around 3 or so. Woke up a little later, and my neck was still stiff.

But, I headed out with Chrissy and Elyse to Yamasaki Training Center to meet TheMikeByrd and Rosie for some post-tournament rolling. I figured my neck would loosen up as I rolled, and it did eventually. I rolled with everyone there, then changed and drove home.

Tournament: USGrappling Sub Only IV — Pictures & Video

For your viewing pleasure. I don’t know why the pictures are so tiny… I can’t seem to get them bigger, but you can click them to see a larger version. None of the videos are a whole match; Sundance’s girlfriend only got a few parts of two of them (but that’s better than nothing — plus I actually do a few good things in some of them!).

Nogi Beginner/Intermediate Absolute with Shannon:

Look, I initiated a takedown!

So close, yet so far away…

Yoshi’s first nogi Absolute!

Gi White Belt (115 – 144.9) with Lo

Locking up

Gi White Belt (115 – 144.9) with Trish

The end to a successful double-leg takedown!

The final armbar

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. πŸ˜› 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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜› 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!

Tournament: US Grappling Submission Only IV, nogi

USG’s Submission Only IV is a two-day event, with all nogi on Saturday and all gi on Sunday. Update: all results are posted on the NHBGear forums.

We drove up last night to Richmond. Even with leaving a little later than we’d planned, we still got there before the weigh-ins started!

Sundance (Clifton’s nickname — I dunno why I never caught on to calling him Sundance on my blog before; am silly girl) and Yoshi made weight. I made 125, only taking off my shoes! Erik, who trains with us during the school year but is back home in Richmond this summer, met us at Andrew’s academy and then took us on a wild drive around Richmond to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. The food was good, but I didn’t want to eat too much unfamiliar food the night before a tournament. (Sundance’s girlfriend is Thai, however, so I may have to trade her some baklava for some of her cooking.)

The guys had talked to TKD Mike earlier in the week, who’s also back home in Richmond. They stayed with him last night, while I drove up to my aunt’s. Went to bed almost straight away. I was up and out of the house by 10 am. My aunt lives only about 15 minutes from the high school where the tournament was, but I wanted to make sure I got there in plenty of time. I don’t like to be late.

I think I heard someone say that there are about 150-200 competitors signed up for both days. Small group in the gym, though I preferred it to the noise that is NAGA.

Ran in to a couple of guys I knew — Enrique, who trains in Roanoke at Hybrid, and Fred, who used to train with Tim before he graduated and moved to NOVA. They were asking after everyone back home.

The gym was hot. Hot hot hot. And it smelled like a new car because of the new mats. The mats are nice, though they get very slippery when wet.

I started working on warming up, since I think that was a real problem last week at NAGA NC. (Wow, was that really just last weekend?) Very easy to warm up when it was that hot in there. I like it that way; I do better once I’m sweating good.

They had the referees meeting and then the Rules meeting. After the Rules meeting, Andrew said, “And we’ll get started as soon as I finish talking here.” I went to get my water and mouthpiece and then wandered over to see what mat my division was on — and then heard my name being called!

Scampered to mat #2, and the ref handed me the ankle bracelet. Out on the mat, quick rules review, handshake, and go! Meep! So fast!

She pulled guard, I think, and then started working her legs up for a triangle. I got both arms out, though, and started around her hips. She caught my head with her legs in a reverse triangle; my arms were out, but she was trying to pull the far one across my body for an armbar. Grabbed the far arm at the bicep with the other and worked to push it back; also worked my near knee across her lower stomach. Still stuck, but I thought to just chill and breath and let her wear her legs out. Finally felt some space and pulled my head out. Geez, she was squeezing hard! To side control, though she was wiggly. Fuzzy on the next bit: somehow she turned to turtle and I went to establish control, thinking to take her back, but she sat up and her neck was out so I grabbed the guillotine (remembered Justin’s advice on it, too!) instead and finished.

I think that match was about 2-3 minutes. Didn’t seem to be very long.

But then found out that we were the only 2 in our division, so that was it. So we got our medals right there (and had to give back the ankle straps — we both walked off with them!).

Talked to her later and found out that she was actually in the Novice division, but there wasn’t anyone else there so they moved her up with me. She’s been training for about 3 months, and at the last minute decided to enter just for fun. She said she figured that the worst that could happen was that she’d have to tap and that she does that all the time in class, anyway, so what’s the big deal? Heh, point.

Once my match was over, I wandered over toward the purple belt girls on mat #1. Sundance, his girlfriend, Yoshi, and TKD Mike all came in almost right after. They missed my match by less than 5 minutes, so I don’t have any pictures from it.

I had also signed up for the Beginner Absolute. But since there was no one else in my division, there wasn’t a match for me. I talked to Chrissy, and she gave me the choice of finding that girl again and asking her if she wanted to do the Absolute or of going against the only girl signed up for Intermediate Absolute. I said I’d move up for Intermediate.

That girl, Shannon, had just finished up a fast-paced, ~24-minute match in her weight in the Intermediate division. So they gave her a break first, which meant I got to watch the purple belts go. They were also fast and really good. I think theirs was the largest women’s division. We all stood there a while to watch them roll.

And I met Elyse! (I’ll have you know, you’re the first female purple belt I’ve met in person for reals.)

There was finally a break in the guys who had taken over Mat #2, so they called for me and Shannon. The guys got some pictures and video this time. Pictures and video coming when I get back home.

I initiated a takedown!! I’m happy with that. I did it! And it was the one Justin showed me and that we’d worked (well, I’d worked very little of) on Wednesday. She nearly guillotined me for it, but I did actually attempt a takedown. Made me happy. Anyway…

I don’t remember most of what happened. I got under side control — typical — and was having trouble getting out. Blergh. But was fighting for it; just couldn’t get anything done. (Watching the video now, I see why: she was keeping her hand cupped under my leg, which kept me from getting my hips out. Hmmm… I’ll have to start trying that. πŸ™‚ ) She was threatening D’Arces, but I saw those and defended those. I was there for a while, though, a lot of her trying to run around to north/south and me chasing her to keep her away from it. After a long while of that, I somehow got to half-guard, maybe, or even back to full guard, and at some point I actually swept her and landed in mount with one of her arms slightly trapped under one leg. Almost started going nuts and getting in a hurry, but Sundance slowed me down and told me to work the position. Oh, right, I knew that… Worked on head control and then looking for where to go. Heard her corner tell her I was sliding up too high, so started trying to work back down. So slippery all around, though, and it wasn’t favoring me.

I ended in her half-guard at one point and saw the D’Arce for myself. Justin had just shown a few tips on D’Arces at the end of Wednesday’s class, so Sundance was feeding me the same tips that I was working through in my head. My legs started sliding back out from under me, though, and my fingers were slipping off my bicep. (Her corner was telling her my arms were tiring, which wasn’t true — I was just too sweaty and couldn’t keep a grip on my own arm!) Also with all the sliding around, I couldn’t quite get my weight on her the way I wanted to. It was close, though, and she said afterwards that it had been good and right but that she was just trying to hang on as long as she could. My hand finally slid all the way off and she was out.

I ended up turtling a few times to get away. Couldn’t reach her legs, though, because she’d immediately sprawl. Tried hitting the switch from under there once, though I don’t think I had enough intention behind it; didn’t quite get out and we started scrambling. I think that’s when I stuck my own neck out and got caught in the same guillotine I’d caught the first girl with! Doh. She got it deep, and my brain claimed it didn’t have a defense for that (liar!), so I tapped.

That match was over 12 minutes long. Wow. I was exhausted, and so was glad that that was my last match. I think I was done in less than an hour with both divisions.

Sundance and Yoshi finally got to go for their divisions. Sundance lost his first weight division match in ~10 seconds to an armbar, then won the 3rd-place match in ~20 seconds with the same armbar. Yoshi had only 1 other guy in his division, and he won (I think on a guillotine).

Sundance lost his first Beginner Absolute to an ankle lock, which we really don’t drill, not even the defense for. He fought it a little too long, though, and had to ice his ankle the rest of the day.

Yoshi had only entered the 1 division, thinking there would be a lot of people there like at NAGA last weekend. But since he’d only got the one guy, we talked him in to asking Chrissy if he could sign up for the Beginner Absolute so he could get at least one more match. She let him (thanks, Chrissy!), and he did awesome! His first match was against the largest guy in the division — I think someone said 205? Yoshi’s 149 — and took somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, and he won! He started bouncing around when the guy tapped, he was so excited. He said later that winning that match felt better than winning 1st in anything. The guy was big and strong and technical, and Yoshi just hung with him and kept working and finally caught a triangle.

He lost the next match within just a few minutes, though the other guy crawled over to the warm-up mats and collapsed while Yoshi continued bouncing around. He’s not this hyped up in class! But he ended up in the 3rd-place match in Absolute. That took 24 minutes! Holy moly! And he was pressing and attacking and going the whole time. The other guy finally caught him, though; triangle, I think.

It was about 3 p.m. then. There were still a few more matches going on, but I think most of them were Absolutes and were probably finishing up shortly. We left, though, to get food. Yoshi had to leave after that; he has class Monday.

Sundance and I will head back tomorrow morning for gi