Thursday, 5 March 2009

Bristol Open

Well the Bristol Open came and went and what an experience! We left at 4am in the morning to get there for 9am. After briefly stopping at the petrol station we all relaxed and settled down for the long journey, only for the car to stall not even ten minutes later! Apparently one of the guys put petrol instead of diesel in the car! A full tank too! We ended up having to push the car into the next car park, get a taxi back to someones house and then use a different car. Eventually we made it to Bristol. We knew we were in the right place because where else would you see a bunch of people walking around in kimonos at 9am in the morning on a saturday?!

First thing that struck me was the amount of people there! There must have been over 400 people milling around and waiting to start. We wondered round for a bit, said hello to the organiser (Pedro Bessa) and eventually found the rest of the Brazilian Top Team Ze Marcello. They had four mats set out for the day and lots of space for everyone else to watch and relax until their fight came up. Suprisingly, they called light weight white belts quite quickly and before I knew it I was on the scale and being told to warm up. I dont think I'v ever been so nervous before! My first match I got the takedown, and then proceeded to forget almost everything I'v learn't over the past 7 months! The match stayed in his guard the whole time, went to half guard for a bit and then back to guard. I eventually won on points. My second fight went much better. I pulled guard , secured a nice arm triangle, swept to mount, took back and got a RNC just as time was called. Luckily my girlfriend filmed this match so I'll upload it later on today along with some pictures of the day. My third fight started off with having a takedown scored against me, a pass and then mount. Not the best start! I managed to get my own sweep, pass and then like a complete idiot I got mount. But instead of holding it for 3 seconds I went straight for an armbar (which I didnt get) and missed out on the points. Eventually I tapped from an ezekiel choke - not my proudest moment haha.

Anyway, as a first competition I was really happy with the way things went. I got my feet wet, won a few fights and had a blast watching everyone else fight. My girlfriend won her weight class and then the absolute, walking away with two chunky gold medals! Well done Rach! It was great to feel part of the BTT team and have some big names in my corner such as Ze Marcello. Thanks to everyone who was screaming at me and telling me what to do especially Tolly, Ze, Rach, Dave, Rory and Chin!

Next month there is another competition (smaller than the bristol open) in Brighton which is half an hour away! Starting saturday I need to work on takedowns and developing my game plan to work a bit better in competitions!

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