I competed at the Copa Nova Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships last weekend. The tournament had a lot of good things going for it. First, the refs were top notch. They were following the IBJJF rules and were doing a damn good job of it. Because of that, there was a very professional feel to the event.
Also, the system for what divisions were assigned to what mat was well-oiled. The person making announcements about what divisions are up was really good. He was clear, and every correction to the schedule was announced. I hadn’t realized until this tournament how important it is to have a good announcer and a good sound system for him to work with. Lastly, tons of little stuff was great, like a warm up room, nice locker rooms, etc.
The attendance wasn’t as good as I had hoped but given how well the tournament is put together, perhaps it will grow with time.
I wish I had more matches, and I wish I performed better than I did. I won the no-gi advanced division, but fell short in the gi. But beyond the win-loss record, my mental game was not up to par. I was too relaxed and paid for it, and instead of coming back hard to win the match, I let my mind get frustrated. I’m glad I experienced that, and now have something to work on. No matter the situation, the goal is to stay focused, push the pace, and not let any little set back deter from believing that I can win the match if I work for it.
For the next tournament, I won’t be afraid to take risks, to go for the takedown, to believe in my wrestling. After all, I don’t do these tournaments to win through clever cagey strategy. I do these tournaments to have fun, put myself and my technique on the line, and hold nothing back. That’s how you learn. That’s how you get better.
I look forward to the next one.
Hanging out with Jimmy Cerra was definitely a good time. He is a true competitor, traveling all over for the chance to challenge himself, and fighting on through injuries and tough times.