Grappling Tournaments Australia (GTA) always put on a fantastic show. They try to accommodate for every competitor, and the prizes on offer include 5 fully paid trips to the USA to train and compete, Protein Powders, awesome medals and many more. The organisers were also a great help to me, knowing that I have injured my knee, I could finalize my entry the morning of the competition. I have rolled properly only twice since the injury, but on the day there was not much swelling or pain, so I decided to go for it an tap early if I needed to.
We got to the competition early to help set up. Unexpectedly, I was then asked to referee the kids. The thought of refereeing was super scary, but I had an experienced ref helping me out and being very patient as I asked him too many confused questions. I was definitely more nervous than during my actual fights later that day! If you ever thought about refereeing a BJJ match, you should. Starting out with kids at a smaller event like the GTA was perfect – there is less pressure from the coaches, teammates, competitors and parents. It also brings a whole new understanding to your own game, making you a smarter competitor.
In the afternoon, I prepared for my own fights – the under 56kg final and an Open Belt Grand Absolute division. I lost my final in the last 30 seconds. Being up on many points to 0 again, I felt comfortable, and then got caught in an arm-bar. Very disappointing and annoying, but it highlights exactly what I need to improve on before the Worlds. I learnt a lot out of losing this fight.
I then had absolutely no expectations going into the open weight/belt fights. Being 53kg, I don’t usually thrive in the absolute division.
First, I was facing an experienced fighter, a new purple belt, who is in the weight division above me. I was able to pass her and attempt a Brabo choke, winning the fight on points. Next up was a very experienced, strong purple belt. Strategically, I pulled closed guard with a deep lapelle grip. I then saw an opening for a cross collar choke and took it, finishing the fight in 40 seconds. I met my team-mate Jess in the final, which was an amazing feeling. Hope we can close out many more finals for Maromba. Jess won with a choke from mount and she ended up winning a fully paid trip to 2013 World Championships. I couldn’t be happier for this amazing lady! In all, a great day at an amazing competition. I am very glad I decided to compete and even more happy that my knee held up relatively pain free. A good sign for the Worlds for sure!
Also, a massive thank you to SUB Apparel for the cute tees and generous support for Jess and I for the World Championships. Makes my training just that little bit easier! These guys have been helping many BJJ fighters live their dreams and have been major competition sponsors in Australia. Thrilled to have them in the BJJ community!
Check them out at www.subapparel.com