Tuesday, July 24, 2018


BJJ competition II (Austin, TX)

Last Saturday I competed in my second BJJ tournament (Austin Open). The weeks leading up to the event, I was iffy whether I was doing it or not... constantly flip-flopping. I told myself that I was going to train as if I was going to compete but in reality, my training is never as hard/intense/focused until I actually register to compete... which I didn’t do until right before the deadline (one week before the event). At one point, I even made a “final” decision to not go since Prof. Marcelo (our head instructor) wasn’t here for the bulk of the month to help us prep and wouldn’t be back to coach us at the tournament. And I aggravated my elbow injury so that’s a wrap... or so I thought.

My goal is to compete at least once a year. I do it because I hate it. But you have to get out of your comfort zone. Being comfortable = no growth. You’re not challenging yourself. A quote from David Goggins that I like to live by, “Embrace the suck.” And I was listening to a podcast (I forgot the author) but she mentioned, “In 20 years, how will you look at your decision? How will it make my life different?” I didn’t want to regret not going. Fuck it. I’m doing it.

Elliot and I in a flexing competition.

I thought I did enough training and felt technically sound to compete. Honestly, I don't care about the result. If I lose, no big deal. In BJJ, you either win or you learn. But I told myself to follow a few rules during competition:
  1. Breathe - you’d be surprised how often one stops breathing when going full throttle
  2. Don’t get caught in anything stupid - don’t get caught in a submission by doing something careless
  3. Give it 100% - I know it's very cliché but I failed miserably

Zinc, my coach for this tourney.

My first match was against the same guy I went up against last year, who I beat twice. But don't get me wrong, he's no slouch. The guy is tough as nails. And this time around, it was more of the same. I felt good at the beginning of the match, i.e. my mind didn't go blank and everything was going according to plan. And I actually had a choke going... until the fatigue set in and he eventually escaped. By the halfway point, I'm physically done. My forearms were on fire. I'm gassed out already! I had a mental lapse (due to exhaustion) and he scored 2 points on me (sweep). The fight ends and he wins by points (2-0).

My second fight was against a guy who hadn’t fought yet, i.e. fresh. I’m still tired. I'm bummed out that I lost my first fight. To be honest, I already checked out mentally. The match starts and I score an easy take-down. This guy doesn’t feel anywhere as strong as my first opponent. But dammit, I’m exhausted. Fuck. Then my mind started to fail me. I got caught in a submission I saw from a mile away but I just gave up. I tapped.

So disappointed in myself... a feeling I won't ever forget.

What bothers me the most was the fact that I gave up. I gave up because I was exhausted. I was exhausted because I did not prepare well. And I did not prepare well because I was noncommittal for this tournament.

Going back to the question, “How will it make my life different?” I will commit one way or the other. Do or do not. And that’s the last time I will ever mentally quit! Let’s go!!! #everydayporrada

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