Who's the biggest loser?
On Friday, July 22 I competed in the Rio Open absolute division. It was an exciting second chance to compete in Rio. I did not know what I was in for.
My first match was with the largest girl in the Rio Open purple belt division. I know that for some competitors it doesn't matter if there is a 50 to 100 pound difference. But I really believe that you need to train a certain way in order win an absolute division. It's yet another area I need to work on.
In my match I got thrown around like a rag doll, and then smashed until my arm popped. An arm bar finished me off. It was a less than exciting match to watch and somewhat painful match to be in. Regardless, I learned some valuable lessons from this experience to take with me.
I've learned that competing in Brazil is no different than competing in the United States. I think that I created a false image in my head. Hyped up, I believed competing in Rio would be very different from the U.S., considering the differences in culture and language barriers. Surprisingly the Rio Open was similar to other meets I had been in throughout the States.
I learned that in order to win an absolute division, you must train a certain way. Rolling with larger people requires a different strategy.
I also learned about some technical areas I need to improve on.
Most of all I've learned that winning is not everything. Although I would of loved to go home with a shiny new gold metal, my bronze is a reminder of what I need to work on, and of how I can get better. And even though I love to compete, I must say I am relieved that the competition is over. Now I can work on what I need to do in order to become the type of martial artist I want to be. I am in the best place in the world to nurture this passion, and I plan on taking full advantage of this opportunity. I will be training at Gracie Tijuca and with Daniel Moraes while in Rio. Then I'm off to Buenos Aires to train at Renzo Gracie's school! I am so excited and feel so blessed for this opportunity!