My First BJJ Tournament – The Hardship of Loss


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.

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What Have I Let Myself In For?!


I’ve been training mma for about 2 months now. Nothing serious, just 1 or 2 sessions a week. Before this, as my regulars will know, I trained san shou. So my background is mainly stand-up fighting. However I felt I needed to broaden my view on fighting and competing, so mma was the next logical step.

I’ve just agreed to take part in an interclub fight in December. Now, interclub fights are NOT big news. Shouldn’t be anything major, but I’m having serious doubts about my abilities. Am I really THAT good to step into the ring? I know I can handle a stand up fight, even if I lose, I’ll be able to walk out without too bad a beating. But my ground work is atrocious and I’m very worried about being on the bad end of the dreaded “ground and pound“.

I’m sure the organisers of this event will match each person with an opponent of similar weight and (more importantly I think) similar experience, so I shouldn’t be facing anyone who has 25 fights under their belt. But then there is no guarantee of that. It’s all too easy to say “this is my first fight” while trying to hide your UFC championship belt.

I’m sure some people will say not to fight if I have any doubts, and they’d probably be right. But I also REALLY REALLY REALLY want to compete. I’m not in it for the fighting or beating down on someone. I’m in it for the competition, to see if I’m good enough. And the only way I can do that, is to fight.

So I’m in a quandary. I guess I have 8-9 weeks in which to make my mind up (to give time to cancel I mean) and in the mean time, I guess I train as much as I can, cover the bare basics, get my cardio up and not let my doubts control me.

Wish me luck!

A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?

Can This Really Be True?


After the terrible performance of last years world cup, Wayne Rooney seems to be finding his form again (regardless of his foul mouth and awful attitude in general). This can only be good for English football and football in general.

But have you ever wondered of the price of insuring a footballer of this calibre? I don’t know about you, but it’s kept me awake at night……. (er….) So our friends over at confused.com have done the calculation for us. Enjoy:

Maybe I won’t complain about my car premium’s again………….

The Wife’s New Job


My wife is coming to the end of her maternity period and work is looming. Unfortunately, she will be unable to return to her current job part-time. It was looked at and discussed (to an extent) but was deemed undoable by the powers that be.

So be it.

Anyway, after the way she was treated (another long story I’d rather not get into) we both decided she shouldn’t return there. If for no other reason than we want her to be at home with our daughter at least some of the time.

She applied for a few photography jobs as she is a very keen and talented photographer, but these came to no avail. Instead, she opened up her own business and has been doing portrait shoots in a studio we made in our house (her website is here, please have a look). This has been going well, but isn’t really bringing in the money we need to keep going just yet. Hopefully once word gets around and the wedding season kicks in, things will change.

She did apply for a job working in a kids gymnastics place. I say gymnastics, it’s a tumble tots kind of get up, called Rainbow Mini Gym. This is perfect as she LOVES kids and she can even take our daughter to one of the sessions she’ll be working. Brilliant news came through today that she got it. Hours are great and days work perfectly. The only draw back is the pay is a little on the smaller side than I was hoping for.

So I get told the good news and the accountant in me rears it’s head. I start running figures through my head and alarm bells start ringing. I’m in the car at this time, so no where near my trusty computer and excel spread sheets. I get back to the office and start crunching numbers. I’m looking at tax relief and voucher schemes left, right and centre. The final result was that we can afford it. We’ll be tightening our belts so much that we’ll be wearing girdles, but we can do it. The only draw back is my training.

I was hoping to leave san da shortly and take up mma. This would be a culmination of techniques and arts I’ve wanted to learn but alas, we will only be able to afford 1 of my hobbies and rugby will ALWAYS take precedent for me.

So I was a bit down on thinking of this when I suddenly had a flash back. A little under a year ago, I was deeply depressed with my work and job. I couldn’t see any way out or any light at the end of the tunnel. My loving and supportive wife told me to leave that job. I did and found the job I’m currently in. Doesn’t pay as well as my last, but I’m much, much happier for it. What I guess I’m getting at is the same for my wife. She COULD go back to her job full time, get the good money and we can have our life back, but my daughter would suffer and be away from her mother. I’m not prepared for that to happen. So if sacrificing mma for my family is the option, I’ll gladly pay it.

My First Tournament: SUCCESS!!


I had my first san da tournament yesterday. I’ve been building up to it for a while now, as you may have seen from my previous post and I think it went quite well. I got a silver medal, which for my first outing, wasn’t too bad going.

The tournament was tagged as being “A Novice San Shou Fight Day”, basically meaning that only people with 3 fights or less could enter. The problem with this was that the organisers left a loophole: Sure, you couldn’t compete with more than 3 fights, but you could have been training for years and still compete!! This little detail became apparent in a few bouts, most notably one of my team mates gold medal fight. He has been training for around 3 months, his opponent………….. about 3 years! My friend put on a great show, really fought his hardest and never backed down, but the other guys skill level was too great and he forced a ref stoppage. Really soured the whole deal for me.

As for me, I had to compete against one club’s instructor (he hadn’t fought before, so qualified!!) for my first round fight. He was a big guy and I’ve never sparred with anyone my own weight before. I wasn’t used to throwing people my own size and it really showed during the fight:

I got the victory here. Gassed in the second round, but pulled it back in the third.

I then had about 30 minutes rest before my final fight. This was against a guy from the same club as my previous fight. He was a bit different a fighter, much more lithe and looking to kick, which is how I like it! I thought the first round was his, then the second round was mine. The judges disagreed and awarded the lot to him. I was FUMING!! I felt totally cheated. I’ve since looked back at the video and I think both rounds were much closer than I originally thought.

I still stand by my call that it should have gone to a third round and I was cheated from the gold, but I’m so very proud of my performance and my whole club’s performance! 2 silvers and 2 bronze medals out of a potential 6, remembering none of us had ever fought before and we all but 2 had less than 7 months training (I’m on 7 months myself). Well done team Wutan!