Category Archives: bjj tournaments

Karma and BJJ Tournaments

Talking about competing in the previous post reminded me of something that happened at a tournament years ago, and how karma sometimes can have more immediate results than we expect.

It was one of the Pans tournaments and I had placed (I don’t remember what place- again, they all just kind of run together at this point). I was intent on doing the absolute weight division (also known as the open, in case I switch terminology at some point) and as one does at these tournaments, I started to make my way down to the area in order to sign up for that part of the tournament.

As I got in line, from what I recall there was a girl behind me who had a friend ahead of me, and I offered to switch spots with the one behind so the two friends could chat. Then, as we’re waiting in line to sign up there was also one of the more popular competitors who also got in line, and they decided to jump in line ahead of me in a very intentional fashion. The girl that I had previously had the interaction with kept looking back in a sort of “wtf?” look on her face. I told her “it’s fine”- it wasn’t really fine, but we’re all headed to the same place and I’m not the type of person to cause a ruckus over a spot in a line. Risk is definitely not worth any reward in this situation.

So we’re moving up in the line and the first girl gets to the table, turns around and motions to me to come up with her, acting like we’ve been friends for years. She chats in Portuguese to the coordinator, they’re laughing, I’m standing their awkwardly because I just jumped past the line jumper – which they didn’t say anything at this point, and I’m not entirely sure what they thought about the whole situation. It was a bit of a surreal experience, to be honest, and one of those few moments where karma has a more direct cause and effect than usual.

Just wanted to share that little story with you all: the moral of the story being be kind and courteous to those around you- not only because it’s the nice thing to do and we need a little more kindness in the world, but also because of the fringe benefit that karma is a thing and will reward you at some point in some fashion.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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You Can Compete Against Someone and Still be Friends with Them

I think this is something we all know, but not really something we talk about in jiu jitsu. I’ve had conversations with other jiu jitsu women where this is sometimes the elephant in the room that’s danced around, and I think that it’s time we explicitly state it.

You can compete against someone and still not only have the upmost respect for that person, but you can in fact be friends with them.

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There are plenty of other women in the jiu jitsu community that I have competed against, and regardless of winning or losing I am always thrilled to see them at the next tournament. And they seem pretty happy to see me as well! We chat, talk about how things are going, so on and so forth.

While the sport is growing in popularity, it is still relatively a small sport. Particularly as you gain more rank, you’ll see more and more of the same faces at tournaments, the same people standing across from you to shake your hand to start a match, the same smiles on the podium as you sit there and wait for that one guy to get out of the photographer’s way so you can just take the damn picture… It seems kind of silly to see someone a bajillion times (granted, at one specific function, but still), and not at the very least exchange a few pleasantries.

Anyway, my point being that there are times where it seems to be a bit awkward: you’re not sure if someone is willing to extend their hand in friendship after a match. And some won’t, if we’re being totally honest. But more often than not they will, and to me that’s also part of what competing is all about: of course the main purpose is to step on the mat and do your best with the intent of winning, but win or lose it’s also about meeting new people and having a chance to connect with other people in the sport.

Just some thoughts for today: have a great day everyone!

 

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Hillary VanOrnum & Gabi Garcia to Compete at Fight to Win Portland

I mentioned how Hillary was opening a new gym, and fairly recently it was announced that she’s going to be competing against Gabi Garcia on June 7th. Pretty exciting!

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While most of us can’t make it to the event in person due to silly things like taking time off for traveling and responsibilities, Fight to Win usually streams the event through flograppling.com and I would say this is probably one to sign up to watch. Just my opinion though.

That’s all for now: have a great day everyone!

 

 

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Back from a Long Writing Hiatus…

Oh man, it’s been a minute… Coming back and writing is something I’ve thought about often, but just haven’t had the chance due to life and such.

Actually, I’m not being totally honest: there was also someone that was connected to my social media accounts that at the time I couldn’t block or unfollow and didn’t feel comfortable sharing anything with, and so in response I withdrew a lot from social media. Anyway, that person is pretty much no longer in my life, so they are no longer on my social media and I’m slowly coming back around to posting stuff online again. I hate admitting when things are not ok, but it also doesn’t feel honest to not address that part of the whole thing.

Anyway a (somewhat) quick recap of the more interesting things that have happened over the past… goodness, 9 months? Dang….

  • Went to Costa Rica: It’s a beautiful place with some amazing beaches, rainforests and volcanoes: however, a lot of people will tell you that ‘everyone there speaks English’. MOST speak English, but not everyone. I think every time I failed to say something in Spanish, somewhere in the world my old high school Spanish teacher felt a twinge of sadness (…Lo siento?). I would still highly recommend visiting.

 

  •  Training, training, and trained some more.
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And we’re in a new space- with huge windows!

  • Competed in a couple of tournaments: didn’t really do anything amazing at any of them, but that’s just fine. I did the best that I could at the time, and I’m ok with that. I don’t really dwell on “could have, should have, would have” scenarios when it comes to tournaments and instead prefer to look ahead to the next challenge. Made some friends along the way, which is also great fun and something I always enjoy.
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Competed against Emily Kwok! Lovely person to lose to….

  • Co-taught my first seminar! I was asked by Girls in Gis a few months ago to go through a little mini teaching session with another black belt in the area, Jen Russell. I didn’t really teach anything super cool, but everyone seemed to have fun, which is really more of the point.

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So anyway, that’s more or less a quick recap of what’s been happening over the past several months. I’m hoping to get back into a more regular posting schedule- I may even try to redesign the look of this blog (whaaaaaat…). It’s been what, 8 or 9 years, at least? Probably time for a little- er, a lot, rather- sprucing up.

Anyhoo, for anyone who still checks in now and again to read this, let me know what you’ve been up to, and see you later!

 

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Happy Friday! Last Day for Super Early Bird Registration for Pans 2018

Super early, I know- but today’s the last day to shell out under $100 for Pans. It may be a little too far ahead for some, but I know that’s the one tournament that I always attend throughout the year so I’m comfortable signing up.

For anyone else that’s fairly sure that they are also going to be competing at Pans, sign on up and have a great weekend!

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Article on Top Black Belts never Winning a World Title

Hey Everyone,

Flograppling has an interesting article about 5 of the best black belts out there, that have never won an IBJJF World Title. #1 will shock you!….

Jk, I’m not into clickbait: it’s JT Torres, which I am frankly surprised about: I figured he would have won at least one of them.

Check out the article, and have a great day everyone!

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Metamoris Facebook “Challenge”

I saw this poster on Facebook this morning:

Metamoris poster

I really think Ralek should write a book with all of the things he’s done to Metamoris, and someone should title it “101 Ways to Not Run a Fight Promotion Company”. To be fair, it seems like the Gracie family really leans into the old saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” but what I think he doesn’t realize is that having a public image is a lot like having a savings account: you typically keep adding to it, and try to avoid making withdrawls if at all possible. Though granted, considering how he still owes Metamoris athletes money I feel that analogy would be totally lost on him.

I am enjoying some of the challenges put forth- these have been my favorite so far:

blindfold robot

+5 for creativity…

And of course the obvious:

get a job

A crowd favorite so far, it seems.

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Training, Coaching and the Like

Hey Everyone,

I know last week was a little bit of a doozy- rest assured I’m still training

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….and still working on trying to be photogenic. Also, contrary to what the photo may suggest, I do not have jaundice.

I’ve also been helping to coach/support our team:

girls

Just haven’t been posting much: I can’t totally promise that I’m back on the wagon, but I’m making an effort.

This past weekend we had a group of competitors raise money and compete in Tap Cancer Out: it’s a great tournament for a great cause, and if one’s coming through your area I would highly suggest checking it out.

Have a great day everyone!

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Results and Thoughts on EBI 12

Last night was the 12th Eddie Bravo Invitational, or EBI 12. This one was particularly interesting because it was an all women card. I was only able to watch the first round and two matches in the quarter finals (because of that whole pesky “work in the morning thing”) but it seemed to be a pretty exciting event.

The eventual winner was Erin Blanchfield over Gabi McComb via armbar in overtime- good for her.

The only other thing I’ll say about the event is that while combat jiu jitsu- striking while on the ground- seems like a good idea in theory, watching it in practice I’m not totally sold on it. I think it’s more appropriate if the match is being stalled one way or another, but in the little I saw, it seemed like competitors were trying to strike one another while a legitimate submission attempt was going on, which was a little silly in my opinion.

Those are just my thoughts. Also, having an event at 9pm on a Sunday night would not be my top pick for an event. Especially while Game of Thrones is running. Just sayin’.

For those who watched, what were your impressions? Also, for anyone who missed the event, you can find them here.

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

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BJJ and Competition: It Pays to Be Nice

I had this conversation recently while at a function over the weekend: most of the time in sports, but particularly in BJJ it really pays to engage in sportsmanlike conduct on the mat, and to be nice off the mat.

Part of it really has to do with attrition: as you advance in the sport, more and more you will find that you are fighting the same people. You start to recognize faces, you remember names (even if you are terrible at remembering names like I am). And the higher you go, the more often you will see that person- if all of you decide to continue competing.

It’s much easier on all of you to continue competing if you are on good terms with everyone. Think of it this way- what situation would you rather walk into, a tournament where you are basically meeting up with old friends, you all duke it out and win or lose  you are shaking hands with everyone while laughing and smiling? Or you walk into a tournament where you have a problem with everyone, and everyone has a problem with you, and all of you awkwardly ignore each other before and after you fight? Personally, I would prefer the former, but to each their own.

And also, it’s just plain common decency to be nice to one another. We’re all taking time out of our schedules and lives to fight one another, which should be acknowledged and appreciated.

So, in summary be nice to one another, because you never know when you are going to meet that person again…and again… and again…

Have a great day everyone!

 

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