Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reflections on the 2011 Pan.

Here's what it looks like before anything gets started:

I'll tell you right up front, I didn't post my footage yet. I tried to watch it for the first time this evening, but I couldn't bear to. Ended up fast-forwarding through a bunch of it and even that was painful.

Work is really crazy and busy, so I had to work late, then run to make it to the academy for the start of comp class. My husband caught a bad cold at the Pan, and in the interest of not coming down with it too, I took it easy today-- just did my conditioning class at lunch-- and instead of doing the comp class, I got some footage of our warmup for this documentary on women in BJJ that I'm helping with. (I have to get all that footage to the lady who's doing it, Akindini, by the end of the month, yikes! but what a cool project! Akindini is a blue belt in Athens, Greece, and I can't wait to point you to the finished product. But I digress...) So I came home early from comp class and now sitting on the couch, watching "127 Hours" with the hub. And blogging. And not feeling like messing with my Pan footage just yet.

[You know it's bad when you'd rather watch some guy CUT OFF HIS OWN ARM WITH A POCKETKNIFE instead of watching your own footage, amirite?]

So what did I learn from the Pan this year? I still think my lessons from the Pan last year are true. Some repeats, some add-ons:

Purple belts by Koral are the wrong color purple. Too lavender, they show up on the TV cameras as blue, so they're not allowed. You'll have to run and buy a new one. Also, if your belt is frayed and has any of the core showing, gotta get another.
Gis by OTM, Shoyoroll, and any others with the pockets inside the lapel will have to have the pockets removed. (safety hazard for fingers and toes)
Know the rules especially when it comes to gi fit, patches, material.
Know how matches are scored. Remember you get advantages for things like flattening someone out in halfguard.
There's strategy and then there's strategy. I haven't figured these out yet. Otherwise I wouldn't have let her rack up points so bad.
I should have practiced more escapes! BAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!
There's a big difference between an instructor and a coach (expect a blog post on this soon.)
Don't let your opponent cross your foot over their hip-- it's YOU who will be disqualified for knee-reaping.
Know what the hand sign for "stalling" is and know what it means.
Be ready- get your grips and GO GO GO. Don't hesitate, don't wait for a better moment.
This may be impossible to accomplish but, as a goal, don't come to the tournament with techniques that you "kinda" know. In other words, drill everything you know how to do until it's fluid and flawless and doesn't need thought for execution.

From what I did watch, here's what I see in terms of my screwups... I didn't GO GO GO when I got my grips. She did a guard pull and I didn't just go and pass-- I was thinking about being perfect and technical. I specifically thought to myself "Oh, she's doing situp guard. And Donald just told me how to pass that. I'll get my grip just so. I'll kneel forward --." And while I sat there and thought, she acted, and easily swept me.

Oh hell. I'm not going to go through all that. I'll just grab the footage tomorrow and post it but don't feel you have to watch it. In fact please don't. And if you do don't tell me. I'll sit down with Vidush and Donald and wear the hairshirt enough then.

It was a great weekend over all. I loved getting to see friends from near and far including Lana, Jay, Ugo, Sarah, Darren, Hillary, Dolph, Caleb, Katie, Mike, Gianni, Hana, John, Steven, Kristin, Jason, Melissa... I will say, the new arrangement behind the mats makes it hard to say hi to people. Used to be, anyone could come up to the barricade behind the mat-- but now, you have to be a blackbelt with a coaching pass. So I missed seeing a lot of friends I'm sure.

I worked the first full day as a ring coordinator; second day, I competed at 1:20pm, so I was a scorer in the morning, then took a break at 12:00 to see my teammate Rebecca compete. However, divisions were running behind, so at 1:20 she still hadn't gone and I had to run downstairs to be in the bullpen for my division. I was under weight on Thursday, but Friday morning I was ON weight as in NO ROOM TO SPARE. So I was total OCD nutcase in the bullpen, weighing, weighing, and reweighing, over and over, even though the check scale kept on telling me that at 1:20pm I was a pound under.

Here's what it looks like when it's all abuzz and busy:

After my stunning defeat, I showered and changed and returned to work as a ring coordinator. To be honest, it's not a bad job, not overly difficult, occasionally stressful, but it makes the time pass pretty quickly. There's a lot of things RCs can do to make their jobs easier, and some of the RCs don't do them, which makes it aggravating for the scorers.. but otherwise the IBJJF is working hard to improve the processes every day, which is good. Because there's a lot of room for improvement, as competitors who struggled to find their way through the bullpen, gi check and weighin will tell you.

Saturday, again, ring coordinator, and Sunday... ahh Sunday, Blackbelt Day... enjoyed breakfast with some peeps at the tournament hotel first off...

From left to right, it's Caleb of the Fightworks Podcast, Dolph of Jiu Jitsu Blues, Katie of A Skirt on the Mat, me, Mike of MMA Lab in Phoenix and my husband Mitch.

I finally got to watch some matches because I was a scorer. Well, I'd seen a bit and a piece here and there prior, like Gianni Grippo's exciting finals match against Christian Broadnax, one of the "Demon" Twins, in the featherweight purplebelt adult division.... but really nothing else until Sunday. Sadly, we weren't permitted to tape from the scoring tables any more :( But the matches were fun to watch.

Mundials is next... well, the Dallas Open in early May. And I'm going to be ready. Readier.

Readiest :)


BJJFamilyMatters.com said...

Thanks for the recap. You covered so many things about the competition that I would have never even thought to prepare for. Hopefully we can go next year - you can be sure we'll be following your tips. Problem is I'm going to have to start saving today.

Congratulations on competing! You showed up & you should be proud!

By the way, glad to hear that I'm not the only one who can't bear to watch my losses.

AJ said...

Good recap! sorry you didn't have better results, but with that experience you'll definitley have an edge going into the Dallas Open! Congrats though for competing anyways, that is not an easy tournament!

Liam H Wandi said...

For God's sake woman where are the twitter and Facebook buttons on your blog?! This is excellent and people need to read it! :)

Georgette said...

OK, there you go :)

Georgette said...

Oh, and one more thing-- you don't have to SAVE to afford Mundials or the Pan!

Work the tournament! I couldn't afford to compete in them if I didn't. You earn $80/day as scorer, or $100/day as ring coordinator. Scoring is relatively easy work, being RC is very demanding mentally and physically as you're responsible for running divisions and brackets with lots of potential for error if you aren't careful, and you're on your feet all day, 12 hours or so. If you RC two days, your entry fee is refunded to you. So I cover my airfare, most of the rental car, and entry fee this way. Email the IBJJF (www.ibjjf.org) for more info.

Anonymous said...

Georgette sister you are a champ! Yes you are. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and your zeal and love for bjj and life. It is inspiring and motivating more than you can know.

JCC-CSV said...

TRM=awesome, win or lose.

Afrorican said...

Congratulations again on competing. Your experience win or loss is a motivation to everyone who reads your blog.
Thanks for the info on working the tourney too, I am going to look into that.

AbbyBJJ said...

I had no idea you get advantages for flattening someone out in halfguard. lol i learn something new every day ;)

NinjaEditor said...

Hey, congrats on competing—even though you didn't do as well as you wanted, at least you got out there!

A.D. McClish said...

Awesome post. So many things that you mentioned that I hadn't thought about. Don't be too hard on yourself about the loss. Like you said, you'll come back "readiest" next time! ;)

Lana said...

Awesome post Georgette! Gah I feel exactly the same in some ways, but I especially feel like I didn't get mentally prepared enough nor get my body in GO mode. I remember thinking a lot as well and not reacting as things were happening. Mistakes to fix for Mundials..

Lana said...

Awesome post, I feel almost the same way! I thought too much and didn't react to things that were happening. I felt like I had not mentally prepared myself which lead to all the thinking??!! Lessons to learn for Mundials!!!

Shark Girl said...

Love your competition tips!