Wednesday, 29 July 2009

3rd Brighton Grab and Pull

Crazy times! Last weekend was the 3rd Grab and Pull tournament held at the King Alfred Leisure centre in Hove, right next door to Brighton. The Eastbourne branch of BTT UK, took up a big team for such a small town, with around 12 of us competing across most of the white belt categories. The last tournament saw only 4 of us taking part, so this was a huge improvement and a good reflection on how BJJ is really taking off, especially in Eastbourne!

The venue was set up with 8 huge matted areas and several cameras, which were used for a pay per view on the event - pretty cool hu? As usual, the competition was running a bit late, but once the rooster and feather weights had weighed in, they started the fights quite quickly. One thing I noticed straight away was the level of BJJ was very high, with almost all the competitors demonstrating alot of skill, strength and technical ability. Usually theres quite a few real beginners competing, but not this time!

While I know I should warm up properly, stretch and drill some technique before getting called up, I'v developed a bad habit of doing some half hearted stretches but nothing else before stepping on the mat. I prefer to sit around and watch everyone else fight and just try to relax and chill out. The first fight always seems to be the hardest for me and it takes me some time before I get into the game plan! This first fight was no different - we started and my opponent pulled guard, which I was very happy about :)! I quickly set up my standing guard pass, stood up and passed top side control, before moving to north/south. Then I set up my favourite choke and finished the fight. The next two fights were pretty much the same with my opponents pulling guard and me using the same guard pass and choke to finish the fights! I almost got stuck in a triangle, but thankfully we have been drilling triangle escapes to death and all the hard work paid off! Its strange, but I have only ever used two submissions in competition - the near naked choke and a particular north/south choke.

The semi final fight went a bit differently :P. After a bit of messing around standing up my opponent got a sweet double leg takedown on me. I managed to get a sweep from half guard, but then I got swept and had my half guard passed. Ended up loosing on points. Ah well! The winner of the lightweight whitebelts was some 16 year old Brazilian kid who came and cleaned up with some pretty sick armbars!

Overall it was a great competition! My one complaint was the cancellation of the white belt absolute division because the tournament was running too far behind schedule. It was great to see many of my team mates compete in their first BJJ tournament, as well as other more experienced friends medalling in their categories! Everyone did really well with Pete killing it in the heavyweight division, getting gold, Rach and Sophie cleaning up the women categories with 2 golds, a silver and a bronxe between them, and myself getting a bronze in the light weight!

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