Friday, November 12, 2010

2010 IBJJF No Gi World Championships

Let me start out by saying, I am so very grateful to everyone who helped me get ready for the No Gi World Championships. The support from my partners, instructors, coaches, friends, family and fans is what really keeps me going. I consider myself very lucky to have all of you in my life. Of course I wanted to make everyone proud but regrettably I did not go home with the gold this time. I've come home with valuable knowledge that is in my opinion, more precious than a gold tinted metal that eventually collects dust. I believe the deeper lessons last long than the thrill of winning.

But nonetheless, it is still very hard walking away from a loss. They tell you that you win more from your losses than from your wins (which is true), but tell that to the "ego". It is especially hard to get over the losses that haunt you. The ones you play over and over again in your head wondering if only it had gone a bit differently. I could have done this, I should of done that...and on and on. Admittedly I am not always the best loser. Sometimes it is hard to separate the emotional part of the experience with the rational part. It's difficult not to take a loss personally, especially when you've already overcome a lot of challenges to get out there on the mats and compete. But in the end winning is not everything. It doesn't change who you are and shouldn't change your self value and self respect. The only solution is to get back up and keep on going.

The knowledge I've gained is that I cannot expect to do a million different things all at once and succeed at all of it. With my energy split over several areas, I cannot expect to perform to the best of my abilities. Everything will come crashing down on me if I don't take care of myself to begin with. Having down time to relax and tend to my needs is essential if I desire to compete at the top level.

I didn't know what to expect going into this tournament. It did run a little behind which is unusual for IBJJF. But I was told that they had more competitors than expected. No matter what, it's always great to see Jiu Jitsu flourishing. Hopefully next year they will have the event take place over a two day period to avoid delays. Despite not achieving my goal, I had a great time seeing friends, fellow competitors and watching the upper level competitors. Big congrats to everyone that competed and those that placed. I admire your courage to step up and compete at this level. A true winner is someone who can realize their faults, learn and most importantly -move on. I am looking forward to the wrap up of 2010 and the opportunities that 2011 holds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let the good times roll...

I've never been good at following directions and once again I made the mistake of thinking that I was competing on Friday November 5th. I was way off this time, since everyone competes on Sunday but of course I realized this after my flight had been booked. But in the end it wasn't such a bad thing since I arrived several days early to train and relax.

I got to Los Angeles late Wednesday night after a hellish day. However, the best part was that I got a good solid nine hours of sleep the first night which is a luxury I rarely have and desperately needed. I woke up, got some breakfast and headed over to Five Star Jiu Jitsu (Shawn Williams place). When I am in L.A. I usually train at Caique's academy but on this trip I opted not to get a car and Shawn's place was much closer to where I am staying. I was greeted with a warm welcome. Shawn was there and he's a super cool guy. He had some of his team from Toronto in town for the No Gi Worlds too. I got to roll with a few blue belt women from his team and had a great time. I'll be going back tomorrow for the no gi class.

Over the next few days my goal is to take the best care of myself possible. This is something that I am not always good at doing with my chaotic schedule back home. I tend to push myself into overdrive all the time and after a while that can wear on you. So for the next two days before the tournament, I am going to remember to eat regularly, sleep as much as I can and "baby" myself so I am at my best for Sunday.

I am really looking forward to this event. I've never before competed in the No Gi Worlds, but am super stoked about this opportunity. I am so very grateful to be here and to all those who have helped me along the way. Much to my surprise I am not nervous, or at least not yet, and instead I feel excited but calm. I've decided to do a lot of laughing, staying happy and keep on smiling. This "technique" has done wonders for my mood and peace of mind. I feel confident I will do my best on Sunday and whether I win or lose, I am here to have a good time!