8 Apr 2009

More on Brighton and more on fame

I've now had a little time to recover from the weekend's competition and reflect on the impact it has had on me. It's kind of weird and hard to describe objectively but I do feel different. Despite losing, I feel I have gained a smidgen of prowess (oh and a bronze medal for my efforts). It has also given me a new source of motivation (as if any more were needed) to get back onto the mats and train harder and smarter.

The event itself was very well run, with 4 mats in constant use and 4 more in various states of action as and when the need arose. I loved the fact that coaches, team-mates, friends, curious bystanders could stand or sit slap bang right next to the action. The huge crowds meant a headache for the organisers but the informal nature of the event I think is what made it so cool.

I was most impressed by the huge contingent that train under the Carlson Gracie banner. One of their main instructors, Simon Hayes, seemed to be omnipresent, bellowing instructions to every one of his team that fought. He is a huge personality and added to the flair and flavour of the day. Almost every mat seemed to feature a Carlsons fighter versus a Roger Gracie fighter, so numerous were both academies. Roger himself came down to cheer on his team, which I thought was a nice touch.

I also got to finally see the 'half-guard wizard' himself in action - RGA purple belt, Ollie Geddes.
Ollie did indeed start each fight by assuming half guard, and then, slowly, systematically, began working his way to victory. One fight was won by a fantastic 'clock' choke'. Another was finished off in style by a 'loop choke'. It was wonderful to witness such highly technical ju-jitsu mere inches away from me. [I'll be interviewing Ollie for this blog so watch this space.]

The womens division was small in number but numerous enough to contain some good fights at both white and blue belt. Notably, my team mate Dominique took Gold and just lost by a whisker to a very good fighter in the absolute category, to take Bronze.

Similarly, the juvenile category was also small in number, effectively becoming an 'open weight' division for under 16's. Team mate Dale Jones won all his fights to pick up gold (the sixth gold in a row, he would like me to iterate). But he also expressed his frustration. At 14 years old, he has no choice but to compete at junior/juvenile division, but his physique is that of a very strong young man. The result is you get the bizarre scenario, as in his first fight, where a very tiny, still boy-like 13 year old is pitted against a lad who appears twice his size. Still the future looks bright with Dale and the other young 'uns producing good skills and nice movement.

With so much action, it was hard to see all the fights. But I did see some very very skillful blue belt lightweight and middle weight work going on. I am SO glad I am not in that division. There was also some very good stand-up work, clearly from adept judoka, that made for some enjoyable throws.

For my first tournament, I don't think I could have picked a better one to participate. When the Gracie Invitational comes back again next year, it will be the biggest event in the UK and a quite different experience. I cannot wait.

On another slightly different note, it is nice to see that the Meerkatsu blog was listed among the Top 60 BJJ blogs recommended by BJJ radio podsite: thefightworkspodcast
Unfortunately, you have to download the list as a google reader import file, but there's lots of good sits among the 60 for me to peruse.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...


i proud for you compete.you know fren it import to no how that feel.compete no jiu jitsu.compete is dffrent.you know it cannot be possible for many comptition for show your real jiu jitsu.maybe only 10%
potentshal.no,it really hard.only way for show your real jiu jitsu is comptete more.but fren,maybe it jus sport,but you gonna have deal with all same emotion an chemical if ever have use for real for defen family so maybe good sometime for compete.it no same as roll easy with nice fren in academie.
i respec any man who compete.
good train fren.nex time you gonna do better.an nex nex time even more fight you gonna win.

XOXrachyXOX said...

Hey, nice blog think i saw u compeating against the btt guy I sometimes train up in london with them i usually end up rolling with him seeing as he's the only one close to my weight lol, could i pinch one of your pics? didnt get any good ones of my fight? See u at the essex comp! :-)

Jadon Ortlepp said...

Was cool meeting you there. I love the grab and pull for its atmosphere, was the same last year. Being confined to certain area's bums me out abit.

Was a good fight with your female friend she fought Sheena who trains at my club (andy roberts) and kevin chans club. She last to her in the final in the division but managed the win in the absolute.

Competition definitely makes you better win or lose. The training prior and after definitely gets better.

see you again soon!

Isaac said...

The competition was great, was my first one too.

The best thing was meeting others super feathers :-P

But it also makes you realize what you do well and what you do wrong, so you can focus in certain areas of your technique.

Nice blog, btw, I added it to my RSS feeds.

Meerkat said...

Cheers Isaac, nice to meet you too. Next time I promise to move a bit slower so you can do better in the final again ;)


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