I competed in the PGL qualifier middleweight tournament. I won four matches for first. It’s a cliche, but it’s true, that I learn a lot from every time I compete. In the semis I had a tough match against a teammate who submits me on the regular back at the gym. You better believe I will be talking trash about it on the mat for months to come! 😉 The “middleweight” in the name is actually 170 to 200 lbs. I weighed in at 185, but am the fattest I’ve been in quite a long time. I’m enjoying food to say the least, but I didn’t feel great movement-wise, so I want to lean-out a bit for the No Gi Pans, World Pro trials, and beyond. PS: Congrats to John Battle (left in the picture above) who won his lightweight qualifier in relaxed dominant fashion with all submissions.
By the way, in the picture, I’m wearing the Sloth shirt, giving my respects to the venerable Vogel clan. In fact, Josh Vogel and I started a podcast last week called Take It Uneasy. Check it out. Here’s a drinking game: every time Josh says “rapscallion”, take a shot.
At the tournament, I got a chance to try a few moves that I’ve been experimenting with. In particular, I’m trying stuff off the feet that opens up my own game. Pull guard, stand back up. Shoot, pull. Etc. Straight-up wrestling against a good wrestler often turns into a match where no points are scored for a long time. The matches I learn the most from are the ones where lots of stuff happens. I still have a smashing game (slow heavy pressure), but I don’t want to have a stalling game.
The tournament ran long, so I didn’t wait around for the gi. I have a lot of trouble (in the form of deadlines) recently in my work life. On Friday, I was told how important it is for me to hit a tough deadline this upcoming Thursday. So I was (and am) incredibly stressed about that. But I tried to completely block that out during the tournament and just enjoy my time relaxing and seeing good friends. That’s important: if you’re doing it, might as well enjoy it.
Here are videos of my four matches. The cool thing is that Jay Regalbuto was doing a live commentary for the official Grappling Leagues videos, and my cam caught some of it. One of the reasons I like watching the PGL videos is his commentary. The guy knows his jiu jitsu (check out his YouTube instructionals).