Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Tourney in the Bag: Kombat Arts Classic 2011.

It's obvious at this point that I'm not a consistent blogger. I won't make excuses, or promises I can't keep about it. I've never been under the impression that the things I write here are worth anything, outside of contemplating things that would go unnoticed otherwise.

One thing is for certain, I won't blog when I have nothing to say and I won't blog when there are more pressing issues. That being said, There are a lot of pressing issues at the moment. Followers of Ash's blog know that we have relocated to Thunder Bay. That's chewed up the bulk of my daylight for the last 6 weeks.

Thunder Bay, more or less.

We're on the ground now though. Ash is napping and I've nowhere else to be. I wanted to talk about the last tournament. It was full of firsts, and an interesting experience all around.

I showed up and started talking with the familiar tourney guys. Max, the guy I fight at every tourney, initially moved up a division to fight some new faces. He had to move back down when it became apparent that there wasn't a very good showing in that weight class.

In talking with people and warming up, it became obvious that there were a lot of guys from a certain school who had simply not shown. No idea what had happened here.

Needless to say, the first two fights I had were guys from this school, so I won two matches by forfeit. Very lame. I had to wait a long ass time in the pit.

So guess who's my first match? It's my pal Max. (I say pal in a tongue and cheek manner, but we are pals. You simply can't fight someone as much as we have and still have distaste for each other.) I was certain that I would be able to get him this time. It was always a single move that determined our matches. It was always chess. I could come out on top.

Well, I didn't this time either. I went for a throw that I've been trying a lot. It occurs to me to be fairly low risk (either I get the throw or I land guarded) so I tried it out. I didn't get the takedown, but I've got guard. I've been working a ton of Lasso guard, and went with that this time. I didn't manage to make it work. I was well aware from our previous fights that Max is well versed at dealing with Lasso, regardless, It's my sharpest guard and i felt compelled to use it. Max managed a pass and got the win.

As this is the format where the semi final losers fight to determine third place, I've still got a fight left.

This fight was peculiar. At the start, my opponent reaches out to clap & pound. I'm no stiff, so I do similar. As we pound, he grabs this arm and jumps guard. Dirty damn pool. You do not offer to clap/pound or shake again, or whatever, and then use it as a way to close the distance. Needless to say, I was pissed right off.

I smash passed him. I mean: I smashed his guard open, crushed him into the mats and took mount. I got him to turn and I used the bow and arrow choke. This choke is bad enough when you do it in a friendly way. I was practically trying to dead lift his collar. I was out of my mind. Needless to say, he tapped. I think the whole thing lasted a furious 30 seconds, tops.

I got up, shaking my head and frowning angrily. The ref raises my hand. I've no patience for this guy, so I'm just leaving. I've got no time for pleasantries after that. His coach starts yelling at me, asking me what my problem was. I went over and told him. He had trained this guy to think that being a poor sport and a cheat was acceptable. I explained this to him. Much to my surprise, the coach sort of apologized, or at least granted that I was right to be angry. I hope he has explained to this student that some people won't accept this sort of trickery. I am very beatable, but it will have to be legitimately done.

I will also grant that in hindsight, I wasn't proud that I got that angry. That's also not tremendous sportsmanship. Perhaps I should have kept it cooler when the match was done.
On the other hand, someone tried to cheat me, and he paid with his neck.

The next fight played into a pattern of people trying to disrupt me mentally. Some one needs to tell people that it doesn't work on me. This non-sense just makes the victories better.

So I've got third at weight (by rather unimpressive methods.) I'm just excited that I can fight in the absolute. I like the absolute. It's like you've already got what you paid for, you probably fought a bunch of guys you've seen in past tourneys. Now you get (literally) more than you had bargained for. Different people, different sizes.

More Importantly, My beard will benefit from the experience.

Any hoo. First fight in absolute. I'm fighting this guy who weighs ~190. He's not much bigger. I go for the same Takedown as above, but it doesn't pan out. I've got guard. Buddy is trying to pass. I'm re guarding and he is becoming frustrated. His coach is trying to mess with me, I can hear him yelling: “You're bigger than him, you can control him!” Wrong. Regardless of his size, if you can't pass a guard, you can't win. If you don't have technique, all you have is piss and vinegar. The “Piss and Vinegar” types have become the easiest to control for me. Stall them, confuse them, annoy them, tire them, beat them.

Shortly after that remark I tapped him with an inverted armbar.

I've noticed a trend in this post, and in my imaginings and re-tellings of tournaments generally. Anyone who I fight that demonstrates goodwill, and valour; guys who showed through themselves and their coaches that they are good people, I wouldn't dare speak bad of. People like these last two competitors, guys who cheat, guys whose coaches try to play mental games with people, I don't have a fleck of patience or pity for.

Learn to play the game. Be cool, and people will respect you. It's always the guys who can't hack it who are out there playing the dirty games of pool.

Max, for instance, is a shining example. Consistent medal winner. No beefs and no ego.

The next fight was also with a guy who was weird. His team (same team as the guy who pulled guard cheaply) was calling him “Crazy.” So great. More piss and vinegar.

This went exactly as anticipated. He was playing the “Crazy Card” hoping that his frantic movements would tire me or mess with my head enough for him to win. No dice. He wasn't actually all that bad. If he wasn't so frantic, he'd be able to fight intelligently. He had some solid escapes and managed to get out of a few chokes and out of a few bad positions. Despite this. I had him beat. I won 13-2.

The problem with fighting this crazy guy, was that I was actually very tired after this fight. I was light headed, and not really able to think clearly or move well. I had tunnel vision. I thought I was having an embolism or something. I lied on the ground and sort of rolled around all out of it, for about ten minutes.

The guy who was organizing the Open division cut me some serious slack. He saw me on the ground, rolling around and trying to figure out where I was. He said to me that he was going to put in a couple of other divisions before my next fight. I don't think I could have fought if he hadn't have done that.

The next fight I was fighting a guy that I knew to an extent. He's a cool guy. We'd met a few times before and we talked after our fight. Nice fella.

I managed to get myself DQ'd in this match. That was a first. Basically, he pulls guard and is working a sort of DLR where he is trying to go around the outside towards the back. My leg is tangled funny. It was an interesting guard. I wasn't able to come up with an intelligent pass for it. It seemed to me that he was looking for my back, and that he wants me to pass attempt as a bait. I figured, I will sweep myself and work from the bottom. Not an ideal strategy, but I'm not in an ideal position.

As we come up, my leg is entangled so that it is in the 'reap' position. I didn't notice this in time. The ref notes it and I move my foot so that it is on the side of his hip. This was apparently not done quickly enough. The ref stops us and disqualifies me. The ref is actually a friend of mine from way back when I started. I told the ref (less politely than I should have) that his decision was unreasonable. I said that he could have told me and I would have moved my foot. Apparently, according to the rules this is the sole job of the fighter and their coach. IF the ref notes it, it's game over. I don't think this is fair. I didn't have the luxury of having a coach at this particular event.

My opponent was very gracious about it. We both legitimately wanted to fight it out.

I also apologized to the ref. I disagree with the rule and the administration of it. Despite this, I apologized for getting worked up. The ref was cool about it. Like I say, we go back a few years, and he competes a lot. The same thing has happened to him.

So now I've got to fight and try to win third. I'm gassed at this point.

I'm fighting this bigger guy. Maybe a lean 190 or 200. It was sorta ok. We were both standing and interested in a bit of a judo fight. This was cool. I tried a tai otoshi and a collar side seio. No dice though. My opponent managed to get the take down. From here it was me trying my best to get something on this fella. I couldn't pull it off. He's got the td points, and he's got the win.

So, decent tournament. I got third at weight and fourth in the absolute. I was pretty happy to have done well in the absolute. In the past I had gone out in the first round.

It's also great just to get tourney experience, and this day was rich in it. I got 6 fights in a single day. Nice.

The lesson was that I need to pick up better standing game. Lakehead U has a good wrestling team, so I should have good opportunities to improve this.

While I do prefer Judo throws, I feel that Judo as a stand alone sport has gone in a weird direction with the 'No leg attack' business. I would like to continue to learn judo, but I simply can't ignore the legs altogether. That's not feasible for BJJ. Wrestling has high attacks as well as leg attacks. Most judo style throws anticipate a high standing posture and can be largely stifled with a low wrestling posture. This is also the height I need to be at to meet guys who are pulling to an open guard. Thus, wrestling instead of Judo as a side hobby for now. It has a larger ROI.

I'd change the name of the blog to reflect the above, but I think only Ashley reads this. Possibly also Slidey, but he is as prolific of a reader as Micheal Valentine Smith.

Also of note, Lasso guard has lost some lustre. It's a good guard, but it was stifled by Max and by the last guy I fought. I have been working on transitioning to another guard from Lasso. I had tried to do this against the last opponent but failed. This transition will be key to the utility of my guard game in the future.

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