Once again Jiu-Jitsu has provided me with more than just some kick arse moves. This time it got me too Melbourne to compete at the Pan Pacs for the first time. This is the second time i've been south of the boarders where the mexicans live. But this time i really got to see and do a lot of what the city has to offer. Like really great coffee, great food, rad street art, tasty beverages, super cool people and bad ass jiu-jitsu!!
I got to catch up with one of my best friends from boarding school. He's been living in Melbs for many years and really has his ear to the ground for all that is totally radical. Myself and a team mate from the gym crashed at his joint in Fitzroy for the first few days of our trip. He and his super cool girlfriend were excellent hosts. My friend is quiet the cook. His home made pizzas were amazing after a hard nights training.
He took us on a guided tour of Melbourne on the trams and also convinced me to get on a push bike for the first time in about 20yrs. Yes i did have a couple of stacks... nothing to bad but my family jewels got a good whack at one stage.
The city it self has so much to offer. I really dug the vibe in Fitzroy and over in St Kilda where my friend informed me that everything was just a little bit trippy.
The training was excellent. The level of the guys on the mat was very high and the intensity of the training for the first couple of nights we were there was full on. My body didn't hold up to well. Next comp I will emulate what they are doing down there and really push myself much more. I think the colder weather and the intensity of the training combined to cause me to strain my lower back which kind of made things a bit hard on the mat. I need to work harder on my core stength and hip flexibility.
The competion was by far the biggest i've been to. I was a touch over whelmed by the occasion but i really liked the atmosphere. The quality of the BJJ being played was of a very high standard even the white belt divisions were stacked with very strong technical guys and girls. My team mates from IgniteSC all competed very well. I think nearly everyone picked up a medal. One of my coaches from Ignite did extremely well winning his weight in the Purple belts and 3rd in the absolute. Also the Melbourne Cia Paulista guys kicked arse picking up a swag of gold medals in all the divisions. Head coachs Carlos Vieira and Alexandre Santos where stand outs for me. They had some epic battles and both won there weight divisions. Carlos Faced off against Big Mick Wilson in the absolute final. Where he lost by points in a great match. Cia Paulista team came in 3rd overall. which was a top effort and the Mestre was extremely happy.
When it was my turn to compete, i'd be lying if i said i wasn't shitting myself. My lack of comp experience really showed and my no-gi match did not go to plan. I shot for a double got sprawled on and spent most of the round scrabbling between turtle and half guard. He even had my back at one stage but I pulled off an escape and got a pass. I popped up to knee ride a bit fast and was granby rolled to half guard where he caught me in a darce choke which really gave the old neck a tweak. He went on to win the division which meant i got 3rd by default.
I was looking forward to some redemption in my gi match. I tried to pull guard but missed my grips and didn't pull properly so my opponent got a near pass. In the scramble i found my self with a nice grip on his sleeve and my leg in a position i thought i knew a sweep for but it turned out i had the wrong grip and needed to change hands. I held this position for a while but gave up on it and tried to get to my knees but he took my back. Once again i escaped and attacked a straight leg lock. I need to watch the fight again to see what actually happened but i think i got a sweep and an advantage out of that, because with about 30 sec left i needed a pass to win but I had nothing left and time ran out. I was pissed off at myself, i let a chance go by to get a win. My cardio is what let me down in this fight and some poorly executed technique. But it has given me lots to work on and i'm going to compete a lot more from now on. I'm going to get my weight down even more, and build up my cardio and strength.
One of the most inspiring things a bout the comp was my team mate and friend 'Timeless' Tom Taylor competing against guys half his age. He showed some true heart and never gave up in both his fights. He deservedly picked up 3rd. I hope that i can stay as positive, healthy and courageous as Tom as I move through life. I had a great time getting to know Tom better and really enjoyed the experience we had together. From competing to partying with the Brazilians.
So I had a great time in Melbourne but I was disappointed in my performance on the mat. I learnt a lot out of the whole experience. Most of all I am truly grateful to my beautiful wife for all her support in allowing me to pursue my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu addiction. I missed her and my two kids so much. It was great to get home and give them all a big hug. I love them!
C u on the mat!