Starting to Think About Worlds

IBJJF Worlds is going to be the biggest tournament of my life (so far). I will be competing in the blue belt middleweight division that should have 100+ people. I’ve been thinking about it over the past several months but as it gets closer (less than 3 weeks away now), I’m finding it pop into my mind more and more.

I truly believe that I can beat every person in that division. But I also know that a lot of those people are hungry to win. This is not a fun roll back in the academy. To a lot of those guys this has been their dream for 3 or more years. Many of them have been training twice a day, doing nothing else, thinking about not much else. When I pass the guard of someone like that, I better put everything I have behind it.

There are a couple “suboptimal” aspects to this trip. I have a clear game plan, but it is not the game plan I am most successful with, it’s just the one I’ve been doing most. I believe in it, I’m sticking with it, but I know there is another game plan with which I can win easier and with higher probability right now. However, I haven’t been using it in competition, and so I’ll have to try switching after Worlds.

The second “suboptimal” aspect is my cardio preparation. I have not been able to hit the kind of cardio training on and off the mat that I was planning on. A lot of it has to do with the amount of work I have, and the lack of sleep. I’ve thoroughly discovered that I simply can’t turn up the intensity on days were I don’t get enough sleep or have spent many hours working behind the computer before the training session. Hard training requires the kind of mental dedication that I couldn’t afford on most days due to other commitments and priorities in my life.

But I know what needs to be done. I know I can win. I am mentally preparing myself for the following situations:

  • I’m behind by 3 points with my opponent on top in side control, I’m exhausted, he is stalling, and I have 2 minutes to (1) reguard, sweep and pass, or (2) reverse and mount or take the back.
  • I’m exhausted, tied in points, down by an advantage and have 1 minute to pass the guard.
  • I’m winning by 5 points, on top in side control, with 3 minutes left against a very strong and aggressive opponent (who may be tough to finish without matching his aggression).

Anyway, I just wanted to lay down some thoughts about it. I’m definitely nervous, but in a good productive way. That’s just part of my personality. No matter what happens out there, I know it will be a day I’ll never forget. I don’t want to put pressure on myself to “win no matter what”. I have an easier time thinking of it as I will be first to impose my game, I will never quit, I will make the job of my refs easy, and I will have a lot of fun. The easiest way to have fun is to win every match 😉

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