US Grappling Submission Only in Philadelphia

Instead of fighting at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship in New York today, I’m writing a post about my last weekend’s experience at US Grappling‘s Submission Only in Philadelphia.

It’s very disappointing that a damn tooth infection is holding me back not only from competing, but from training, sleeping, and working. But alas, shit happens. I’m already focused on the upcoming many weekends of battles.

Below are my  four matches from the submission only event. I fought two divisions: blue belt gi under 175 lbs and the blule belt absolute. Both were 8-man brackets with I believe 5 people in the first and 7 in the second. I caught a bye in the first round for each.

A match at a US Grappling submission-only tournament has no time limits and must end in a submission. This format lends itself to a great experience no matter the outcome. I had all short matches, but I saw many 20+ minute matches, and overall everyone was happy (though exhausted).

Surprisingly, it was a huge relief to not to have think about points. It freed me to take risks in passing and improving the position. Also, it allowed me not to stall in dominant positions. I didn’t rush anything, relaxed, but always kept an eye out for submission (chokes, arm bars, etc) openings. Often, in regular, tournaments I won’t risk going for submissions when I’m up 2-0, 3-0, or 5-0, and so a lot of my matches against tougher opponents look like: takedown, pass, hold. I’m of course trying to mount and take the back, but not risking anything.

This tournament has taught me to relax even more, and not take the game so seriously. In order to learn (and win), I need to make myself more vulnerable and take a damn risk every once in a while.

Anyway, the four matches are below. I tried a new thing: I added voice-over commentary to the vids. Please let me know by voting in this poll whether you like or don’t like the addition of commentary for personal competition footage: 

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