Working and competing at the Pan is potentially the second-best single decision I have made in terms of improving my jits. The first being my decision to train at Relson Gracie, of course.
I have been privileged to watch, on average, 80-90 matches a day from start to finish as well as being able to listen to the corners for both competitors discuss the match while it's going on, to listen to their coaching, to listen to their comments after the match, and to listen to the refs and ask questions.
You might think blackbelt matches are the things to focus on. Uh-uh. From whitebelts on up, every single match had *something* in it that made me think. My brain is literally blown wide open.. hanging from the margins of the frame in shreds. My consistent prayer is that I will be able to absorb something from the experience. I have been taking little notes here and there, not about specific techniques but about big-picture reflections. When I get some neurons back together, I will share.
Today is blackbelt day and I'm so excited, I think I'll pop. I think there's still some browns too... for sure in women, but maybe in men as well. Yesterday had the brown/black womens' absolute (weird, because their weightclass divisions aren't till today..) and WOWOWOWOW the jits was amazing. I filmed some matches- Christina Thomas (our own instructor Christy), Gabby Garcia, Val Worthington, Hillary Williams, I think Luanna Alzuguir... also couldn't resist filming some random matches in the guys' browns and purples division just for representative purposes. I met a super neat lady, a blackbelt who used to live in Austin for 12 years, who now runs BJJLegends Magazine, and I might be providing some footage to her, but as soon as I can I'll put what I can up here, I promise.
I'm wearing my tiedyed gi pants in part to rep for HappyKimonos.com and in part because the dang event center is FREEZING COLD all the time. I hope I can take a little time off here and there to prance around and meet some people. I met Lana Stefanac day before yesterday and she has the deepest voice! And wow, what a corner she is. I'll have to share some funny lines, later.
I heard some shitty cornering too. I saw a guy get choked from an omoplata position BECAUSE his corner shouted several times "watch the choke! watch the choke!" The opponent literally changed facial expression and rearranged some things to be able to put on the choke.. and the poor guy in the omoplata was trapped... so wtf, "watching" the choke wasn't going to help him, he couldn't protect his neck anyway!
Anyway-- gotta run. Talk soon!