My friend Tanya recently entered a grueling grappling contest in Germany called the German Kumite. She had to fight all the ladies in the event one after another, gi and nogi. The winner would be the person who won the most fights. Tanya fought seven other women and scored a full house of seven wins - all by submission, including an epic hour-long encounter. It's a quite staggering achievement given that Tanya only received her blue belt back in December 2012!
I spoke with Tanya who wanted to say a few words about her experiences at the Kumite event...
"If I could sum up how it feels to have won the Kumite using one word it'd be relieved! I have so many great people in my corner and supporting me that I managed to put a lot of pressure onto myself. Then one of my team mates posted on Facebook "win or lose, you always do us proud". That meant a lot to me and alleviated the burden.
The Kumite was an incredible experience. The organisers did a great job to concoct such a tournament and meeting top level competitors from all over Europe for a submission only, no time limit competition was novel for all of us. I went there with the intention of winning a beautiful trophy (the photos do not do it justice!) and in true jiu jitsu style, came back with new friends and some areas of my game to work on at training.
I had 7 tough battles, all with very different styles. It was a great chance to put into practice things I had been drilling and either struggled with previously or had learnt about but not yet encountered in a competition.
I was gifted with clarity that weekend and was able to liken my fights to situations I'd encountered at the gym. I'm privileged to have truly excellent team mates to whom I owe my successes. THE armbar that I used to finish my 1 hour battle was drilled into me by my coach James Hodges. So many of the techniques I used were learnt from him and my other coaches Chris Jones (who also makes my videos) and Alaric Moore as well as from other coaches and training partners at my two old gyms I still visit - Carlson Gracie and Fightworx.
I'll always be grateful to David Lindsay for that weekend. I'd worked a solid 11 days in a row in the Emergency Department of Exeter Hospital and managed to get so ill that I even contacted the organisers to say I may not make it. After a crazy week of work and training of his own he both got me there and get me through it all.
I've said it before but BJJ is by no means an individual sport and I'm grateful to everyone behind Team Tanya! From Meerkatsu who enables me to train as much as I do without running out of kit and generally looking cool on the street; to my mum who doesn't mind that I spend loads of time training when I visit her in London; mouthguard geniuses Opro; Will Newland who gives me diet advice; friends who keep me sane and again my team mates and coaches.
Thank you all, oosss!"
Thank you indeed Tanya.
In fact it's worth noting, it wasn't too long after she came back from the German Kumite that Tanya entered the British NoGi Open and won a handsome silver medal in the openweight combined blue/purple belt category!
|With buddy Kat Gibson|
Here is a highlight video made by the German Kumite organisers where you might just see glimpses of Tanya in action:
And here are a couple neat highlight videos made by Chris Jones showing Tanya in action:
I fully expect Tanya to continue her tournament and jiu jitsu success. You can follow her progress on her dedicated Facebook page here.