I competed yesterday in the NAGA East Coast Grappling Championships in both the Master’s (30-40 years) and Adult heavyweight (under 225) divisions. This was my first big US submission wrestling tournament so I was looking forward to seeing where I am in relation to these guys.
First up was the master’s division. There were 6 guys including myself. The brackets are single elimination.
First: Took him down with high crotch, passed to side mount, went for arm triangle, slipped off, scrambled, took full mount. Sat there for the remainder of the fight. Won 6-0.
Second: Took him down with fireman’s, got stuck in full guard, guy escapes to his feet, took him down with outside single, got stuck in full guard again. Up 4-0 with 30 seconds left guy gets kimura, I tap. I think I could have held out for the remaining time, I think in hindsight I was pretty safe from where we were. Learning experience.
Third: Took him down with outside single, got caught in half guard. Stayed there for the rest of the time. Won 2-0.
This got me a bronze medal in this category. The guy I fought in the second match won the gold. Although it was disappointing to lose like that I think it was an important learning experience about not panicking in that particular position and tapping too early.
Next category: Open. There were 14 guys in this division.
First: Took the guy down with high crotch, scrambled to pass to side mount. This guy was really explosive and quick like none of the other guys I’ve fought so far, more like what wrestling was like. Got side mount, but the guy pushed me off and sat up (which by the way is not easy to do). I looked over at the scorer’s table and I was up 4-0 with 2:30 to go. I then made what was in hindsight a bad tactical error. The guy was down on the ground like these BJJ guys like to do, I was standing up, and I dove down to pass the guard. We scrambled for a bit and then all of a sudden the guy had my back. We went at it for a bit and then he sunk a rear naked choke and I tapped.
What I should have down in hindsight is not gone to the ground when I was up 4-0 but remained standing and stalled the rest of the time out.
The guy went on to win the tournament, basically blowing through the other guys.
Since it was single elimination I was out.
I kind of have mixed feelings about the outcome of this one. On the pro side if I had been smarter or more experienced I’m pretty sure I would have won the first match and had a good chance to win the tournament. On the con side my BJJ skills are pretty damn bad. Basically at these tournaments I’m the best wrestler in the room but possibly the worst at avoiding getting submitted.
Anyway that ended my day at 2-2, putting my year to date record at 9-5.
I think the NAGA folks post a bunch of pictures after their tournaments, I’ll include some as they go up.