Tag Archives: tournaments

IBJJF Master Worlds: The Old People Are Coming Out in Full Force

I was looking through some of the tournaments that are coming up for the rest of the year, and maybe I was just looking at the wrong ones but it seems like registrations are sort of light…Until you look at the Master Worlds, set to take place on November 2nd and 3rd.

…The old people are coming out in full force, y’all.

It’s interesting to see so many competitors, who are all required to have a birth year of 1984 or earlier, signing up to participate in the event. It would be interesting as well to look into the “why” of that as well: does it really have to do with age? Is it the chance to attend a Worlds competition with (I guess) less pressure than the Worlds that takes place in early summer?

If you have any theories, feel free to throw them my way: otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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The Curious Case of The Abu Dhabi Pro Trials

So….anyone have any idea when those are happening? Because I don’t.

For anyone who isn’t sure what I’m talking about, the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials are a series of tournaments or “trials” for competitors to qualify for a (paid) trip to one huge tournament out in the United Arab Emirates. It looks like over the past couple of years they have been fiddling with the structure of the trials: from cutting down the number of qualifying tournaments to fiddling with the divisions- for women, anyway- but you would usually hear word about this tournament by now.

So far I’ve checked their website and there is no mention of any Pro Trials happening anywhere. The past few years they have held one of the trials in New York and typically in mid to late October. According to the New York Abu Dhabi Pro Trial Facebook page, the group in charge of the tournaments haven’t released any dates yet.

Anyone have the inside scoop on this? Again, because I sure don’t: let me know, otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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IBJJF 2014 Worlds Results

Worlds happened this past weekend, and a lot of the big players were either in the finals, or walked away with a gold medal.

According to IBJJF’s Instagram (because that’s where I get all my news, obviously) Buchecha won the Black Belt Adult Open class for the third time in a row, Beatriz Mesquita won the Women’s Adult Black Belt Open, so hooray for them!

Also, Keenan Cornelius was disqualified for a knee reap, which may or may not have happened. There’s a video floating around of the move in question, but it’s from the wrong angle so it’s hard to tell.

I should have been watching the finals, but to be honest I was walking around Philadelphia instead, enjoying the sunshine and taking photos.


How was everyone else’s weekend? Did you watch the finals? See the footage of the supposed knee reap? Or were you enjoying the sunshine/weather wherever you are?

Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Royce Gracie Challenges Eddie Bravo to a Vale Tudo Match

According to a couple of sources apparently after the draw between Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo at the Metamoris event another one of the Gracie clan, Royce, challenged the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu owner to a Vale Tudo  match, citing that Bravo has repeatedly disrespected his family’s name. For anyone that isn’t sure, Vale Tudo basically means “anything goes”- striking, grappling, anything in the realm of hand to hand combat. It was actually the format of the early UFC fights: for example, in one early UFC’s someone pulled a chunk of hair out from their opponent. While that would certainly be not allowed in an event now, I remember watching the match and hearing the commentator say, “well, that’s not not allowed

It doesn’t sound like Bravo wants to take up the Gracie brother’s offer, but you never know- stranger things have happened.



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Photos from 2014 Pans Trip

Prepare yourselves everyone, because you’re about to get a whole bunch of photos from Pans.


We brought a teammate with us on the trip to act solely as our photographer. So thanks Rob! I know it’s a lot of photos of me (sorry) but if I wait for permission from all my teammates for all the photos, I’ll be posting this, oh, next month or so….Anyway, here we go!


Getting ready to compete- hooray! IBJJF also took some photos during my finals match in the Open Division:




That is the look of surprise- I knew I did everything I could, but neither of us had scored, and it’s always sort of nerve wracking to leave it up to a ref’s decision.


Hooray! 🙂


It was great to head out to Pans with all my teammates, a little over 20 competitors- we ate together, hung out together, and it was a really good time. It was great to watch everyone compete, to cheer for them and really watch each teammate work hard and really put themselves out there.


And after the competition we went to a trampoline park! It was super fun!


Overall it was a great trip and I’m super proud of our team. Yay!


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What Keeps You From Getting Better at Jiu Jitsu: Fear

Ok, it’s one of the things that keeps you from getting better at jiu jitsu, but it’s a pretty big thing that we all face, and should talk about.

I’m going to indulge the 13 year old in me for a moment and relate today’s post to the lyric of a song that I enjoy, “Dear Death Part 1” (the band is Emery, in case you’re wondering)

“It’s the wrong side of fear that kept me out”

We could nitpick this phrase all day until it doesn’t make sense anymore, however I feel it can be applied to parts of our jiu jitsu journey…career…adventure? Adventure, I like it- we’re sticking with that phrase for now.

As I mentioned, we all have to face it as some point: the fear of failure, the fear of making a mistake, creating a vulnerability and being swept, submitted, etc. We put so much time, effort, so much of an intellectual and emotional investment into jiu jitsu that it’s understandable that we want to do well, to confirm to ourselves and others that we are proficient, hell, even good at this jiu jitsu thing. So we train, or we compete and we freeze up, we become uncertain- we want so much to not make a mistake that we end up hesitating and not doing anything at all. While competition is important, and you can sort of squeak by sometimes by staying in one place and pray no one calls you on stalling, I’m taking a longer view approach and focus a little more on training  and the general advancement in jiu jitsu.

This fear keeps us from doing the jiu jitsu we can do, we want to do- it keeps us from the very thing we are trying to do, which is sort of ironic, and not in that Alanis Morrissette way. You can particularly see and feel it when training with some lower ranks: they know they don’t want to be swept, tapped, etc. but they aren’t sure how to counter or advance in a position, so they kind of just stay still wherever they are, like a little ball of uncertainty and anxiety. It’s endearing because we’ve all been there, and a little funny for the same reason. A personal aside, and also a cautionary tale about looking up your opponents before a tournament-when I competed at the Abu Dhabi pro trials, I looked up the name of one of the competitors, because it sounded familiar (it was Fabiana Borges) and became anxious because she was a black belt and had this long record, etc. I kept telling myself it didn’t matter- I went to the tournament: among the girls I didn’t know, the one I lost to called me a beast (it’s funny how you could call a girl that on the street and she’ll be offended: you call her a beast in sports and it’s a compliment). The girl I won against said it was a pleasure to compete against me and can’t wait to do it again. My match against Fabiana… that doubt, that fear made me hesitate, and I ended up making mistakes, which she quite understandably took advantage of- I can’t even be mad about that. Fabiana is an excellent jiu jitsu player and competitor, but it was also my own hesitation and doubt kept me from the jiu jitsu I wanted to do, knew I could do.

So, now that we’ve established this fear can be a hurdle, what do we do about it?

I’m not condoning going out and intentionally lose a training session or match, but rather keep in mind that in order to progress, sometimes we have to lose, we have to stumble and fall- because if nothing else it teaches us to get back up again. Ok, so you were swept, got tapped, put yourself in a bad position: it’s a weakness of vulnerability in your game that was exposed. But you tried something, you made an attempt to move forward, which opens you to the chance to sharpen your skills, to be on the lookout for opportunities to use those techniques and try again, hopefully next time with more success, and continue on your jiu jitsu adventure. 🙂


Update: While I attempted to take a more general approach to the whole fear and jiu jitsu issue, Chewy over at Chewjitsu talks more competition specific…and honestly his post reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, so check it out!


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Yesterdays Post, Expanded: Mainly with Photos and Stuff

Mornin’ everyone, so I promised more stuff- mainly intending just to post more photos. But anyway, if you didn’t know there is a National Martial Arts Day in October. As a way to celebrate this, and to promote the stuff we do at our academy, we basically had an Open House which included demonstrations, face painting, a moon bounce for kids (I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll get one that adults can jump in someday), and a teammate and I did a women’s self defense seminar. Unfortunately I don’t really have any photos of the day, but I can assure you a lot of people did come through and it was a lot of fun.

Then at about 5:30/6am the next morning the team rolled out and headed up to Queens for the Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu Pro Trials. We spent 13 hours (yeesh) as guests of Queens College as 12 of us competed all day.

I’m posting a couple of photos below (thanks Maggie!)- so, er, enjoy!




I favor playing an open guard and sometimes that means an occasional, accidental foot to the face.

half guard




and it’s not a truly successful day without a photo with Coach and “the Katie face” 

Have a great day everyone!



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National Martial Arts Day & NY Abu Dhabi Pro Trials

Hey guys, this is going to be a pretty short one, but basically this weekend was chock full of stuff: Saturday our academy held a National Martial Arts Day celebration, and I taught a women’s self defense seminar with my teammate, and that was pretty fun.

Sunday was spent all day in Queens for the Abu Dhabi Jiu Jitsu East Coast Trials- I placed third in my division- hooray!

abu dhabi

I’ll post more pictures later and stuff.

Have a great Monday everyone!

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Something a little Different: Competition and Watching Students Progress

I just wanted to share this with you guys: our team went to a NAGA this past weekend, and in addition to supporting other teammates, this time it was just a little different, because two students that competed have primarily been taking a beginner class I teach with another teammate.

Guys, they did so well and I am so happy for, and proud of them.  There were mistakes, yes, but they remembered what we did in class, remembered the basics and win or lose it made me really happy to see them compete.

This is definitely a new role that my teammate and I have taken on, and I have to say it’s rewarding. I don’t care whether they won or lost, I was just happy to see them out there, competing and doing the techniques we’ve taught in class.

The good/bad news about this is one of these students will be moving on to the more advanced class; they’ve learned the basics well enough that they can continue their jiu jitsu journey and learn more advanced positions and techniques. So, it’s a little sad, but still very good. 🙂

Anyway, just wanted to share that with you guys- have a great Tuesday everyone!


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Interesting Post from Another Blogger

Shakia Harris wrote an interesting article about the “Loser’s Mindset in BJJ“. It’s pretty interesting and you should check it out. Also, I happened to catch her twitter updates about taking first in blue belt at the Bluegrass Open (I think that’s what it was called)…And how the food sucked at Hooters.

Sorry to hear about the sub-par food,  but congrats on getting gold!

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