I’m competing against Garry Tonon tomorrow at the PGL (here’s my previous blog post about the event). In no-gi, I’ve gone against several very good competitors, but this is probably the toughest opponent I’ve faced yet. He is a 2011 and 2012 no-gi world champ at brown belt. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
I think that organizing 8-man tournaments like these is great for jiu jitsu. I believe that grapplers at any rank can put on a show, and as PGL grows, more and more exciting brown and black belts will step up. The event is short (relative to a normal tournament) so it’s interesting for spectators. Also, it’s streamed live online for free and then you can watch it on demand a week later. Here’s the link: PGL II – Middleweight Tournament Plus Super Fights. It starts at 7pm (Saturday, Nov 23, 2012).
The four match-ups in the the preliminary round are:
- Dennis Pressey Jr vs Juan Vazquez
- Garry Tonon vs Lex Fridman
- David Elias vs Steve Wilson
- Michael Padilla vs Robert Mudrak
The two superfights are:
- John Battle vs Zach Green
- Bill Algeo vs Matt Dosk
Seriously though, thank you to Keith Egan, Josh Saper, Seema Shull, and all the PGL staff (including the ring girls) for putting this event together. I’m exciting to go watch it tomorrow. This is like the New Jersey version of Metamoris.
I’ve been eating a lot, working a lot, enjoying life.
The food is healthy (veggies, lean meat, some fruit) but the quantity is what I’m not limiting. I want to give myself a breather, before diving back into it for the fall.
Before I finish writing this status update, let me go grab a random snack. Why? Because I can! That’s a damn good feeling. Oh and I’ll be competing in the local tournaments in the extra fat divisions. No real cutting until September.
The problem with the “diet” I was on before is that I never quite followed it seriously enough. When I competed at Worlds, my carelessness with food resulted in me being 2 lbs overweight. I ran it off in just 10 minutes and that served as a good warm up, but still this was supposed to be my fat division (middleweight, ~177 lbs). A “fat” division is one I should be able to make without cutting at all or even thinking of cutting.
Competition is stressful, and my goal for this year is to reduce that stress as much as possible. I want to not have to think about any tournaments (except the really big ones) until the day of the event. A strict diet plan leading up to each competition is part of that. While I’ve been very systematic about learning jiu jitsu. I’ve been a complete white belt meathead about learning dieting, and dieting is the thing that breaks many competitors who have demanding jobs (and/or other responsibilities) outside the sport.
Another random rant comes to a close. PS: I had beer with my coach yesterday while watching judo. We should make that a regular thing.
Having just competed at Worlds in a division of 126 guys, I started to look ahead at what and when the next “big” IBJJF tournament is. I looked at Boston, Chicago, etc, and quickly realized that they are an order of magnitude smaller than the Mundials. So I decided to measure the relative size of the major IBJJF tournaments I’m aware of by what size the blue belt middleweight division was in 2011 for that tournament. This is usually one of the biggest (and often the biggest) division of the tournament. So I figured that it would serve as a decent measuring stick.
When considering whether to do a tournament, I’ll often just look at the next one, and decide based on how I’m feeling. But after doing the little research I mentioned above, it’s clear that it’s smarter to plan ahead to make sure that the division is big enough to justify the costs of travel.
So here’s the results. Below are the major IBJJF tournaments and in parentheses is the number of people that competed in the blue belt middleweight division for that tournament.
No-Gi Pans (49)
No-Gi Worlds (38)
New York (37)
American Nationals (19)
Las Vegas (15)
Asian Open (14)
Chicago Winter (13)
From the above “results”, I draw several conclusions:
- I will not be going to Boston this year, lol. Come on, Bostonians, get your s*** together!
- The regional tournaments I’m considering are Miami in the fall, New York in the spring, and maybe American Nationals (since it’s both gi and no-gi and is pretty well attended).
- Since I have friends in Chicago, and the regional tournaments there are of a good size, it’s worth it to make a trip there.
- The two major IBJJF no-gi tournaments, while young, are really holding their own in terms of attendance. Just goes to show that the label of “World Champion” is worth a lot to people no matter how you look at it.
- All these tournaments are growing by leaps and bounds. Just in 2012 most of these tournaments had an extra 20+% of competitors in this division. The future of BJJ tournaments looks pretty damn good.
- And the biggest conclusion of all… the biggest and toughest tournaments are the Pans and the Worlds. If you go anywhere, go to those.
So here is my new strategy for choosing jiu jitsu tournaments to attend:
- Do as many as I want that are within 2-3 hours driving distance.
- Travel far only for Pans and Worlds, unless there is a good reason.
- Do the closest World Pro trial (usually one in New York, or worst-case, Montreal).