my adventure into the weird and wonderful world of brazilian jiujitsu
Sunday, 21 June 2009
BJJ British Open 2009
Yesterday was the biggest competition in the UK, and possibly in Europe, excluding the Europeans. It was a really great tournament with such a high level of jiujitsu! I was quite suprised the distance people travelled to compete, with some competitors coming all the way from the US and many travelling from Europe and all parts of the UK. Brazilian Top Team did very well, claiming silver in the team trophy category and taking quite a few golds and silvers. The guys from the Eastbourne branch of Ze Marcelo won two golds and two silver...there were only 5 of us!
Training for this competition was a little less than some of the other ones I have done this year because I had my final exams and wasnt as focused as I could have been and have been in the past. I checked my weight on the Wednesday (the competition was on Sunday) and was around 4 kg over! This led to some serious sweat sessions and hardly any food over the next couple of days. I was still trying to loose weight on the night before the competition at 1230, even though we had to be up at 3:30am to drive up to Birmingham! I can't tell you much about the drive up there as I was in pretty much a zombie state by this point and ended up sleeping the whole journey up there.
In what is turning out to be a routine for us, we got there way before anyone else - before the place was even open infact! Rocking up at 0730am when the event was supposed to start at 0930am wasn't great, but better early than late eh? After much standing around and clock watching, all the competitors were let in and everyone went off to establish their camps in various corners. While the venue had a huge matted area consisting of 8 mats, the spectator and warm up area were very small and cramped. Basically if you were not fighting, you were stuck standing as there was no room to even sit! Luckily we found a bit of space and used our bags to create a little fortress for ourselves.
I was on quite quickly as the call for lightweight was pretty much as soon as the doors opened! For once I was really calm and relaxed before going on the mats, and had time to stretch as best as I could and run through my game plan a couple times in my head. I was also lucky enough to have Ze Marcello in my corner, which helped out loads! The first two fights were hard and it took me a while to get my head in the game properly, but I managed to get through the first and second round, winning on points. After that I got with the it a bit more and finished the next three matches by north-south choke. Since me and another team mate, Sushi, both made it to the finals, we split the gold between us!
Rach did a great job aswell, despite having 5 stitches in her arm and having a cold, winning Gold in the female lightweight division, adding to her winning streak :). Sophie Cook got silver in the rooster weight female division and Pete got silver in the heavyweight division. Well done guys! Lee Fynch also competed for the first time, doing a great job and representing the team.
Once I finished my fights I stuffed my face with sausage rolls, sandwhiches, chicken, cereal bars, chocolate and loads of energy drinks! Eventually I began to feel normal again and hlped the other guys with their fights. The rest of the day was a mad rush of running from one corner of the hall to the other, screaming encouragement and causing general mayhem. It was great seeing the black belts and brown belts fight as well as all the purple belts from Ze Marcello's team. Oliver Geddes was also there and didn't disapoint, pulling and winning using his great half guard game, something I am trying to work on myself at the moment.
I am going to do another entry in more detail in a couple days when I have got together all the pictures and videos, but that should be enough for now. Happy Training!
Hey all my name is Alex Broers and I currently train out of two schools; in the UK I train with BTT under head coach Ze Marcello, while in Bahrain I train at Reza's Martial Arts Academy under Reza Monfaradi, where I started in August 2008. I just finished my degree in Business Management and Marketing at the University of Brighton, but am more interested in my training in Brazilian Jiujitsu :)