Tag Archives: Bjj tournaments

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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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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Article on Weight Classes

Hey all, there’s an interesting article from Jess Fraser about weight classes and a lot of the weird weight issues that come with it.

I agree with her that for a lot of women it turns into an obsession to lose weight, to just get to that lower weight class, and easily becomes a fertile breeding ground for some real eating disorders and a variety of psychological issues. As someone who used to be heavier, it has often felt like a personal failure when I couldn’t get to that next weight class down that I was trying so hard to get to. Now? There’s still a little bit of that struggle, but frankly now I just sort of shrug my shoulders. I still work to lose weight for tournaments, but I’m not as worried about it. There have also been a series of tournaments where I’ve just said “screw it” and have registered for a higher weight class, just so I didn’t have to worry about making weight and could use that focus on other, important elements of my life.

And when I’ve done that, I’ve gotten questions from my fellow competitors about why I registered up a weight class, or even a look or two from the people running the tournaments when I weigh in way under the limit. It happens, but oh well- I’m there, I’m competing and I’m not being disqualified so let’s get the party started.

I wish I could impart that feeling on other competitors- and hell, even myself on those bad days, but it’s going to take a while before we all get to that point.

Anyway, check the article out and 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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Article on the Top 10 Jiu Jitsu Fighters of All Time

Good morning everyone!

BJJ Heroes has an interesting article about the top bjj fighters of all time, based on point talleys from some of the highest level tournaments that take place throughout the year, such as ADCC, Pan Ams and more.

Three from our association are on the list, specifically Xande (labeled the “King” of the heavyweights), Saulo and Raphael Lovato Jr.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Interesting Article on the Top Finishers in BJJ

All the major adult tournaments are over (Master Worlds in September: can I get a hell yeah) and Bjj Heroes has an interesting article on the top finishers for the year.

There are a number of names that I’m not surprised to find on there, such as Faria, Galvao- but I was actually surprised by some of the other names on the list: particularly Cornelius, the Miyao brothers and Caio Terra.

I also appreciate that the site explained why women’s stats were excluded. It sucks, but at least there was some method to the madness.

Check it out, let me know what you think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Updates to the 2015 ADCC

So the past couple of weeks I’ve been living under a rock (actually it’s been more work, train, sleep, rinse, repeat) but this article on BJJ Heroes caught my eye regarding the under 99kg division of the 2015 ADCC- taking place August 30th in Sao Paulo, Brazil. There are some big names on the list, including Rodolfo Viera, Xande Ribeiro, Joao Assis, and Dean Lister (invited, response pending, I believe), so that’s neat.

Check it out, and you can follow the other links on the site (and there’s a tab on their home page) for more information regarding the tournament.

Have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday! Words of Wisdom Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Recently I was talking to a friend unfamiliar with jiu jitsu (I know, I still acquire those now and again: shocking) and they asked what competition was like. This was my response.

“Competitions can be sort of stressful at times but personally I feel, win or lose, a sense of accomplishment at the end of it: you did what you could and either you had a really great day, or the matches didn’t play out in your favor [or let’s be real, you made a mistake] and you need to try again. You only really lose if you let fear get the best of you and you no longer participate.”

Not the most eloquent, but it’s the truth. Just wanted to share with you all.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Article on Jiu Jitsu Outgrowing the IBJJF

Bloody Elbow published an interesting article about how (professional) jiu jitsu is outgrowing tournaments run by the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu JItsu Federation, for anyone who isn’t sure). As the sport grows, as jiu jitsu players turn professional and more events offer super fights and a cash prize, the IBJJF will become more irrelevant.

I agree with the author- while I think a number of higher competitors will continue to register for these events, these events will no longer be a high priority. As discussed in the article, we’re already seeing this trend with some of the bigger names in jiu jitsu: if there is a tournament to prepare for that will pay cash, competitors will opt out of the IBJJF tournaments.

I think there is still value in the IBJJF “brand” (for lack of a better term). There is still the impression of prestige to these events, but the organization is going to have to step up their game and offer more financial incentives if they want to keep star power at the larger tournaments. I think they have taken a step in the right direction with the BJJ Pro tournaments, in which winners are given a cash prize-  I just hope it’s only the beginning to something more, and not the only action the IBJJF is willing to take.

What do you guys think? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Being a Black Belt is Kind of Like Being a Parent….

Over the past couple of months I’ve realized that in some way, being a black belt is sort of like being a parent. It’s definitely more than just teaching techniques- people look to you for guidance (mainly in regards to jiu jitsu, but sometimes not), even when you are not entirely sure of the next course of action.

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You come in early, or you stay late after class because someone has a question or needs help. You patiently explain- again, and again- a particular concept, but then you have the reward of seeing their eyes light up when they finally get it or successfully complete the technique.

You get up early for events you are not even participating in, to take photos and support those who are taking part. And if this past weekend is any indication, I’m going to be the best, or worst mom ever:

Hey, is that so-and-so’s mom?

Yep.

Is she really napping in the bleachers?

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Yep.

You (at least appear) to have this certain level of authority, but you also encourage lower ranks to think for themselves, to express their own personalities and creativity, so they too can progress in their jiu jitsu and take on a leadership/parental role in the academy- to develop into a full fledged adult, if we’re continuing with that analogy.

And speaking personally, you do it all because you care about your teammates, you want them to succeed, and sincerely wish for their success and happiness, just like you would for any family member you care about.

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Just wanted to share with you all. Have a great day everyone!

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