Category Archives: competitions

American National Championship -2016

 

So this past weekend, I competed in the American National Tournament in Las Vegas. It was my first time out to Vegas and out to this tournament. I had a blast out there and did some good work out there as well. This tournament is part of the UFC International Fight Week, so I got to go to the Fan Expo for free for participating.

This was my first time doing no-gi at an IBJJF tournaments so it was really interesting compared to the gi. I hardly every train no-gi so I don’t know as many takedowns as I would know how to do in the gi. Because I scared all of the people in my weight class from trying to challenge me, I got a gold medal in my weight class for no-gi, which allowed for me to participate in the open.

I had two matches in the no-gi open class. My first match was against my first runner. This girl ran away from me for 6 minutes. She got a penalty against her because she kept backing away and running away from me the entire match. So I had my first runner, guess I really am an imposing figure on the mat with only being 5 feet flat.

My next match the girl immediately jumped guard, so then I was just standing there shaking her off. I eventually take her down to the ground without slamming. I then try to go break her guard, but I don’t have my grips so I then do something and she is super flexible and rolls overs and gets my arm and cranks it. So I tap to the armbar. But I still ended up with 3rd for the open class for No-Gi.

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Then I had a break between No-Gi and Gi. Then my Gi matches started.

My first gi match, I went out there and threw them to ground. Then I just worked my game to get her down and worn out. She was getting tired and I will still all guns blazing so we went around and then finally got her in a choke as time was running out. So I won that match up on points.

Then I had my next match, she attempted to throw me for six minutes to the ground. I was trying to break her grip off my one arm, and every time she would come down low, I would attack the back of her head trying to snap her down. She was about 7 inches taller and much longer than me. But I kept moving forward and trying to attack. It ended up going to a ref decision and with her being an Gracie Barra student we know how that went. But I already had 3 medals on the day and was waiting on the open.

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While I waited for the gi open class, I got too chill out for a while and use FaceTime to show Geri match from TNBJJ to Rachel so she could coach her. Shout out to Geri for taking Sliver in her first tournament.

Then I had my gi open class division. I had to win my first match to even take home a medal. So I went out there and just worked my game. I was able to get the girl to the ground three times during the match. I was never able to get her into side control but was able to get to her back and choke her for the last few minutes of the fight. She kept trying to fight it off, but you could hear her gasping for her as I kept pulling it tighter and tighter across her neck.  She was super upset when she walked of the mat.

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Then I had my next match in the gi, I had used all my energy and strength in the last match so I went out tried to grab my grips, but she reached me first. We went to the ground and we rolled for a while, but she bested me and got the win. But I was going to get bronze in that open too.

So for that day’s work of work, I was coming home with 1 Gold, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze medals. It was a lot of work and the most matches I have ever had in one day. But I know what I need to work on and on to start training for the next tournament.

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Atlanta BJJ Pro -2016

So  this past weekend, I competed at the IBJJF Atlanta BJJ Pro. It was  a smaller tournament than what the Atlanta Open, but there also so many more tournament options for this weekend to. But I got up about 4:30 in the morning and set sail for Atlanta. I was supposed to compete around 11:45, but was thinking because it was smaller they may run early. My division started at 11:20 and we were done by noon. I was in a division of 3, which is ran more like a double elimination than any other size bracket with IBJJF.

First match, was against the woman who beat me in February. The thing that I learned from this fight is that I have to work on my throwing power. She is a taller and heavier opponent so for me it is much harder to throw her, but we had a lot of scrambles. Also saw that my cardio was so much better than in my past competitions. She was breathing hard on top of me while I’m waiting on my chance, at the end, I was finally able to get from underneath her and dump her. It was a good battle, but she came out on top.

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Second match, I had against another tall woman. Every tournament, someone always grabs the back of my gi and tries to pull it straight over my head. Every. Single. Time. So there is that and then we just battled back and forth. This was her first match and she was tired from the start. I didn’t get my point for a few things, so that was frustrating. At the end, I was on top, trying to choke her as time expired. I felt really good during both of these matches which only speaks to everything that I have been doing by cutting out gluten and dairy. Now it is time to refine and execute for my next competition.

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So I took 3rd out of 3 with 2 hard fought matches. Didn’t get submitted in either one, and could have kept going with more matches. I didn’t stay for the open because since it was supposed to storm on my way home, I didn’t want to be driving in the storm at dark. So I swing by Ikea and got a few things before I headed home. So back to the grind to prepare for what is next.

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Reflection from the Big Girl on the mat

The gym is usually my happy place. A place where I am not judged for my size and weight but only my skill. I am used to in tournaments people not rolling with me due to my size and weight but not in the gym. I don’t understand why people do this in tournaments either. I don’t try to destroy my toys, even if I don’t like the person personally I won’t try to hurt them. I am very considerate when I am rolling with people smaller than me because I don’t want to hurt them to the point it disadvantages me at times.  So when someone dodges me and then says they only want to roll with with people their size it is a bit frustrating again.

I am 5 feet and about 250 pounds, there is no one at my gym that is my size. I don’t pick and choose who I roll with. There may be a person I avoid due to a past experience for them being too spastic, but after some time has passed I will try to roll with them again because people do change and get less spastic. But to flat out say I’m not going to roll with someone because of their size I find a bit disrespectful. Just because you are an average size and weight doesn’t mean you get to write off someone bigger than you. You can learn something from everyone,  just because your are getting smashed right now doesn’t mean that will be forever.

I will roll with whoever, I don’t care, I can learn something from everyone at the gym. From the newest white belt through black belt. I always learn something from whoever I roll with, it doesn’t matter if they are bigger and taller than me. It helps me get better.

Last night, the gym was not my happy place.  When people dodge me due to my size, for a moment it makes me want to quit. Why do I come back day after day to be the biggest female at the gym. To be avoided due to my size. But then i realize, im the one that will continue to get better and be willing to take any smashing given. I can stand tall  and say that I don’t avoid anyone on the mats.

The gym will continue to be my happy place. It one of the reason I still survive. And for those who wish not to roll with me, thats fine, there will always be a smaller person to smash you as well. 🙂

 

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Shout out to all of the people who have haven’t been afraid to roll with me.

Atlanta Winter Open 2016

So this past weekend, I competed for the first time as a blue belt at the IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open and it was a great experience. I received my blue belt back in September right after there Atlanta Summer Open. There were some differences from competing as a white belt to a blue belt and most of them are good.

  1. I now compete earlier in the day vs. later in the afternoon. I prefer earlier so I can get back to eating.
  2. Now I can do the open class vs. as a white belt there is no open class.
  3. It didn’t apply to this tournament, but I can now do no-gi tournament since I have received my blue belt since white belts are not allowed to.
  4. Just have a different mindset now being a blue belt vs a white belt.

This time my division had 6 people in it, it always interesting that registration will close and have only 4 but then some how 2 more people appear 2 days after it has closed. So I got the bye in the first round so in the second round I went up against a woman who was taller and probably heavier than me. She basically laied on top of me for the entire round at the end I started trying to come up but she won on point. I was very proud of my performance for some reason people may think is crazy but here they are:

  1. My gi top did not come over my head.
  2. She did not yank my gi top over my head.
  3. My pants did not come down
  4. My rash guard did not come up .
  5. My belt stayed tied the entire match

Most people who roll with me know what kind of feat that was not have that happen.

If you would like to watch my match here is the link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOY-CBgi6wY

Because I had the bye in the first round, I ended up with 3rd place for this tournament.

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I then waited around until the open which was supposed to go on at 5:40 but we probably didn’t start the Blue Belt Adult female divisions until 6:30. My first match in this division was against another Super Heavy girl who had taken 2nd in our division. I don’t have a video of that match, but she won on points by getting me into the guard and i would try to break it and she would get me right back into her guard. I could tell she was very frustrated with me. She busted both my top and bottom lip so I bled all over her nice white gi. She may have won the match, but she will always have my blood on her gi. So now I have that tournament out of the way and have stuff to start working on.

I do have a question though: does anyone else get super hungry after tournaments? I do by what I ate after the tournament. I ate all of it.

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Today will be a two post day as I will also being doing my meal planning for this week later today.

Til later,

Leprechaun

 

IBJJF Summer Atlanta Open 2015

Another day another competition down,  I competed again this summer in the IBJJF Atlanta Summer Open.  This is the first time it was a two day tournament in Atlanta so I competed in Sunday morning, instead of late in the afternoon. So I got to venue around 9:30 as my division was scheduled  to go at 10:50. So got there got changed and then started to listen to my music before going into the bullpen. I had a division of 5 this time and I didn’t get the bye so I had 3 matches to get to gold, while everyone else would only have 2. So I was like bring it on.  I got ready and the ring coordinator for ring 3 called us over and got us all together. I was going to have the first match because I didn’t get the bye.

Match 1- Before the match, Rachel is like get your throw and so I go on the mats, get my grips and throw her. She catches me with a lasso grip, while I’m on top and she holds it. She asks her coach and then she finally lets it go, I stay on top and up by points to with the match. The Link to the match is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx_5zvFzGOg

Match 2 – Going up against a taller female this time, we go back and forth, she is up by points, but I get my second wind and come back throw her twice, then go to back mount then to full mount to come back from behind to beat her. I am still trying to figure out what she was trying to do when she was jumping. The link to the second mach is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cybFdzszPiw

Match 3 – Had another good opponent, we stood up, battled for a while, tried to throw her, got her in half guard and then just battled for the entire round. This was my finals match, she came out victious, but i still felt like a winner. Has gone what I had set my mind to and won 2 out of 3. The link to the finals match is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJUrRVd7-lE

It was a good day, had some good battles and already planning my next competitions out. Here is the my podium picture.

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You can’t teach heart and fight until the death,

Leprechaun a.k.a ninja

Fuji Bjj Nashville Jiu-Jitsu Championship

This past weekend, I competed in the Fuji Bjj Nashville Jiu- Jitsu Championship in Clarksville. I will say that the last two tournaments that I have competed in have been  very well ran and I have been done competing before two in the afternoon. Yes, these tournaments have been been smaller but I have enjoyed how they run the adults and the kids at the same time. It means that i don’t have to wait around all day for the kids to go before I can compete.

I was at the venue pretty early for a tournament to get weighed in and situated that morning. I was just hoping that i would have someone to compete against. The only thing about smaller events is that divisions are usually broken out a lot more and I usually end up with just one match, while the lighter girls have more. So I waited through the rules meeting to find my mat assignment. I was assigned to mat 6 for all of the adult females.

My first and only match in the gi was with a blue belt as that was the only person that was similar enough to me for them to match me up with. I am willing to fight who ever they put in front of me. So we fought, she ended up winning by points and the link to the fight is here:

I thought I held my own with her, my own real big issue is with my gi. When I received it over a year ago, it fit much better than it does now. My legs and body have shrank in inches so it is much to big for me to continue to compete in. I had so many issue with both the top and the bottom that I am now going to be looking for a new competition gi, that doesn’t as easily get pulled over and is a bit more fitted than the one I have now. It has held up well for me over the last year, but its time to retire it as it gives up to much of an advantage to others.

It was a good match, and I was trying to beat a 50 year old woman, while she is trying to be a white belt. So it was a great match up. She also competed against my teammate in the blue belt divisions as well.

Here is my podium picture from my gi match: IMG_2701

So then I watch my other teammates compete as I wait for No-Gi competition to start later that afternoon. They start doing adult females and I find out that I have no opponent for no-gi.  They asked some others if they had wanted to compete against me, but them or their coaches had said no. I will write more about this later as this is something that frequently happens to me. So I got an refund for that division and then watched a few matches before I left because i was getting hungry.

All in all, it was a good day of competing, even though I didn’t win I learned something. I also now am in search for a better fitting gi, so if anyone has any recommendations I would definitely appreciate it.

 

 

Copa America Nashville

So yesterday I competed for the first time since the Atlanta Open back in January.  I spent most of the spring preparing for the half marathon so I backed down on the competitions that I did this spring. So this was my first one back and my first once since I had really been able to see a leap in my movement and jiu-jitsu.

This competition wasn’t far from home, it was just about 45 minutes away in Gallatin at the Gallatin Civic Center so I was like I would go compete. The nerves started like Friday night and by Saturday I woke up before 7 and could feel them like no others. So I get up there and just chill out for a while. The venue only had 6 mats and I figured it would be a small tournament.

The tournament was really well run and to have the adults go at the same time as the kids was awesome for me because I was able to be done before noon. Most tornunanet I have to wait around all day to have my first match but it was good to be done early so it didn’t feel as if my whole day was going to be consumed by the tournament.

I had one match yesterday and it was a good match. I got my first win in a competition which was awesome with as many times I have competed. It was the first medal that I had truly earned. I have medaled before but this medal is special and to win so close to home was awesome. My competitor was taller than me, but I outweighed her so it all works out.

Here is a video of my match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p9vcPcYP9s

I am excited to be back competing and look forward to competing as much as possible the  rest of the year. 🙂

Still need to find a gi top that doesn’t come over my head and is not huge, so if you know of any companies, let me know.

Leprechaun out

Smokey Mountain Grappling Tournament – 2014

On April 26th, I competed for the first time at the Smokey Mountain Grappling Tournament in TN. It was about an 3 hour drive from home to get there. So once I got up there, the first thing you did was weigh in which was a bit weird to have to weigh in by the door because you are coming in with all of your stuff .  You don’t weigh in by the mats like some other tournaments. So I weighed in and then proceeded to go the gym. This was definitely a small tournament with only 4 mats going and come to find out that there where only 3 female adult white  belts competing which was kind odd, but not unusual. So 20 minutes after I got there they call me down and say I am going to be competing in less than 10 minutes. It wasn’t a hurry up and wait kind of day at that tournament which was good . So by the time I change they are ready for us on the mats.

I actually didn’t get the fight videoed, but from what I can remember is that she got on top and just stayed there. She really didn’t try to go for any submissions but just surfboarded the entire time on top of me. She had great pressure and due to my weak shoulder I really couldn’t do anything with her on top of me. So time ran out and I lost and got second place. I was going to do the open in the GI, but that wasn’t going to be until after all of the gi and no-gi had finished and so my teammates and I decided just to ride back to Nashville after getting some lunch and have the rest of the sunny Saturday. I can definitely tell I am improving day in and out so that is all I can wish for. I know that I will soon start seeing the victories and that is what keeps me going.

Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2014

So I am back at home after traveling out to the  Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2014 out in Irvine CA last week. It was my first time ever being on the west coast. So I was excited to be there for a Jiu-Jitsu competition as well. I got out to L.A. Tuesday afternoon and came back home Friday night. I couldn’t afford to stay out there the entire time, maybe one day when people pay my way I will be able too, but I still had a great time.

I competed on the first day of the tournament but my division was one of the later ones in the day to go. My first match wasn’t scheduled to be until 5:50 but I was in the bullpen starting about 4:45 so that I wouldn’t be late or if my division got called up earlier I didn’t want to miss it.  So I was waiting in the bullpen and was looking at who could potentially be in my division. I was in a division of 9 and knew 2 of the girls from competing against them before. So my times come when the ring coordinator calls me. I was on Mat 7 and so I had to go through gi-check. My Gi was good, but my belt was too long. So I had to re-wrap my belt a few different times to get it to past inspection. I finally was able to so then I was able to go line up for my mat and see the girl who I was going to be going up against. I had got a bye in the first round so  this was going to be my first match of the night.

The Ring Coordinator walks us to the Mat after the fight before our starts.  I start to get Amped and ready to get on the mats. Now I wear glasses so that always makes things more intresting when I comepete because I see the colors but have a hard time making the person out in front of me. So I’m getting warmed up and my coaches are behind the barrocade coaching one of my teammates on the next mat.

Now its showtime, the bright lights of the gym hit me and I step onto the mat when the refree tells me I can. I shake his hand and then the hand of my oppotnet and then when “Combat” and start going at it.

I have put the link to the video below so you can see it.

So I lost the match, but I learned so much in the experiences and everything that lead up to that point. The biggest thing that I learned is that I am too small for my weight class. Right now I compete in the Heavy weight class which is 165 and above. IBJJF just have announced they are adding 2 more weight classes and the next highest with be at 175, so for next year at Pans I am going to try to get into that weight class. I think i will be a killer at 175 compared to the any weight goes right now in Heavy weight class. I have a year to get there so I am getting started now.

I learned so much out there watching all of the colored belts that I saw compete and to know that one day I will be on that level is awesome. I am already training and planning for my next competitions, but I can now say that I have competed on an international level and can’t wait to win on that level.

Nashville NAGA – 02/22/14

So this past weekend I competed in NAGA Nashville at McGavock High School. This was my third competition and so I was excited but also a bit vary due to a respitratory issue that I had been fighting.  I am also dealing with it now…but hopefully it will be gone soon.

Back to NAGA, a bunch of us on Friday night went an weighed in. I weighed in at 250 pounds, which was off, but I later figured out why. Then went home to rest for Saturday morning.  I got up on Saturday took my shower and then went to venue. Luckily knowing my way around this school help and so I didn’t have to park out in the grass like everyone else and had a very short walk to front doors and then to meet up with some others from my gym.  It wasn’t until about 1:45 pm that they called for our cards to be bracketed so that is when I started to get pumped. No-Gi was up first. My division was the second one to go, and the girl I went with was taller than me. I don’t remember how I was submitted, but I got second place.

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Me looking awesome with my Unicorn Rashguard on 🙂

Then I had to get ready for my gi fight, This was a division of 6 and most have been training a lot longer than I have.  So I have to remember that as well, but I’m still fighting to the death. This was the first time that I lost on points instead of a submission. So I was happy with that.

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Then I watched the rest of the girls team just crush everyone else, so it was great day for Shawn Hammonds Ladies Team as well.  On to the next competition.