I entered my first #bjj tournament the other week. I finished third and got a bronze medal. As soon as I got back to the changing room, I took it off and hid it in my bag. Why? Well let me elaborate:
I’ve been training for about 6 months in Brazilian jiu jitsu. I’m loving it! I’m making fairly good progress and I can feel improvement. Now I’m a competitive person and competing in tournaments is an important thing in bjj to gage your progress and skill level. So I asked my coach about a tournament. It just so happened there was one in my home town, so I entered.
I’m a fairly big guy and entered at the heaviest weight category. This meant there is no Max weight. And I was nervous as hell about having a huge fat guy sitting on me for 5 minutes and smothering me.
My time comes and I’m waiting mat side. My first fight was against a guy at least 6’6″ and built like the proverbial brick ** house. I lost to a very quick armbar. Not happy but it was a good move.
Second fight was against a literal bull!! 5’0″ tall and the same wide. No skill, I lose my balance and he ends up on top of me (my biggest fear!). For 4 minutes he stalls and in the end I get frustrated and fall into a choke.
So I’ve come to the conclusion I have to drop a few kgs and go down a weight class.
After the matches, I had to stand there and get a medal for losing twice. It felt hollow and undeserved. The other guys won and I didn’t. Simple.
But I’ve been thinking. I’ve worked my arse off to get from having no clue what half guard is to being able to complete in one of the biggest tournaments in the country. That means a high standard. And I tried my hardest in both fights, I put my arse on the line when at least 4 fighters didn’t even turn up for the tournament. So I didn’t win, so I got tapped twice; SO WHAT?! I deserved that medal through hard work and heart. The wins didn’t come today, but they will. And when they do, this medal will mean a WHOLE lot more.