29 Oct 2006

Southend 2006

Wowee what a day, what a tournament!
Just got back from the Jikishin National Ju-Jitsu Tournament in Southend.

The facts:
1. The Meerkat defeats 2 rounds of ground-fighters to reach the final, gets a draw in the final with the referees final decision going to the opponent – SILVER medal.
2. Two out of five Team Imperial ground fighters (Anh and Colm) win their first round with solid techniques as drilled in the dojo.
3. Rob Line wins GOLD in purple-brown belt random attacks – in his first attempt!
4. Pete McCarney wins SILVER in his weapons kata event with a superb Sai 3 kata.
5. David Tedora loses only to a split decision in the random attacks.

Here are my recollections of the under 69KG GF event:
Firstly an apology for misinforming the GF team. I had told them to expect a grip to the uniform when starting the fight (no, the start was not from a gripping position) and to expect the round to be 90 seconds (it was instead 2 minutes). So that flummoxed us a tiny bit, but we were not to be deterred. Having shown out in full force, we all bonded well and kept our spirits up.

First up was Anh. Now Anh had literally just got off the plane from holiday. With only 4 hours sleep, he was the amazing slippery eel that we know him to be. His opponent tried everything, but Anh escaped each time, finally ending up with a nice pin, which earned him the winning points.


Next, they pitted our Colm with our Kevin. Oh no, an Imperial stand-off, no one could call it. So, in the end we just said let the best man win. And the best man on the day was Colm, showing amazingly good technique to pass Kevin’s guard and pin him and attempt a submission, it was BJJ straight out of the Gracie book.


Daniel was up next. What a start. His opponent jumped at Daniel but, savvy to the move, Daniel used his legs to fend off the attacker and literally catapult him into the air! This move is actually a BJJ move, I think called a helicopter pass or something – I need to check with Ed. The fight went very well and I was sure Daniel did enough, but the judges gave it to the other guy, so a close call.


Me – lucky Meerkat got a by to the second round, which gave me an excellent chance to suss out the opposition. I observed Some very aggressive play, with everyone bull rushing each other – just as I expected. Already I was forming a strategy but it was not without risks.

Second round –
Anh was already up for his second round. It much tougher of course, and he did his best to repeat the slippery guard passing and pinning, but the opponent was too heavy and pinned Anh to score the points.


Colm’s next round was also tough, with a bigger opponent, he still managed to hold his own, but a couple of accidental rule infringement (standing up) are probably what caused Colm to lose the fight. Several times the opponent dragged Colm into his guard and if only he could utilise the special anti-guard technique we had practised so hard, but nevermind, it is so hard to think out there!


Seymour – round 2.
OK, here revealed was my last minute thought strategy – use an audacious and outrageous opening move to completely stun my opponent. That move was the hand-stand guard pass, or cartwheel pass. In my mind I imagined a Capoeira style wheeling over to the back of my opponent. What actually happened was a sort of half-hearted wheel-barrow which ended up no-where. However, it had the desired effect. Even though I knew I would get told off, it did cause the mental block in my opponent I was looking for. The ref got us re-started and I began to work my thing. The tactic thereafter was simple…let the opponent do all the aggressive actions and simply sweep and pin with hooks in. That’s all, get the points, cause frustration and win the match – and that’s exactly what happened. In between, a couple of attempts at armbars which nearly came off, after that, back to plan A.


Seymour round 3 (semi-final)
The next opponent had obviously seen my crazy stunt earlier. HE was very wary and sat off. So, thanks to being inspired by watching Sami the Hun Berik, I started waving and flapping my arms Matrix style then prancing from side to side like Drunken Monkey Kung Fu. I must admit, it was a bit disrepectfl but I really enjoyed seeing the confusion on my opponent’s face. He just did not know what to do. After the opener, it was back to PlanA which worked a treat where I nearly got an armbar and a knee bar. But on each time, the ref stopped us as we were coming off the mat. Then, a little trick I shared with the team earlier, I went for my favourite BJJ technique – SPIDER GUARD. Clearly he knew nothing of this easily defeated guard, so I just wrapped his arms and played him like a marionette and swpt him. It was joy. Verdict – a win to me (though one judge mysteriously gave it the other way – like HOW! You can’t fight ignorance).


The Final
So, there I am, my first ever GF final and I was tanked. I had nothing left and already my 37-year-old body was beginning to seize up. I planned my tactics again. This guy I knew was fairly good and very strong and much bigger (where are those weighing scales when you need them?) I would play open guard to save energy and hope for the best. IT almost worked as well. He was desperately attacked my neck but my tight defenses were frustrating him. So he tried an ankle lock – easily defended – then he went back to choking and I switched to upside down arm bar. It was lousy, so I switched to triangle. Just as lousy so I reverted back to open guard and then that was time. Very boring I’m afraid and no effort on my part to ‘win’ the fight.
The judges all gave it a draw. So it was left to the ref to give the final verdict which, rightly in my opinion, was given to the opponent. On another day, if I had the energy, I know I would definitely have won it. But I played safe and clammed, so it was my own fault. Thanks to my opponent who graciously complimented me and assured me that I should have won it. Silver medal it is then.


So to conclude, it was a great tournament showing from Team Imperial. My report focuses mainly on the GF because that is what I saw close-up. The lads played brilliantly and were easily the most technical of the lot. It goes to prove my theory that utilising solid BJJ techniques is the best way to win at ground fighting tournaments.
My thanks to Eddie Kone who helped our team with a special coaching session and a mention to Oli Geddes from Roger Gracie Academy who also helped. Next year, we’ll be back and we’ll be better!

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About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

Congratulations man. Keep up the good work. Being in the finals is fun, and if you come away with a silver after a referee decision, then ya can't really argue with that. ^_^

Well done, and good job to everyone else involved.

Catch you sometime, hopefully (!).

Take care,


Anonymous said...

Oh WOW! Well done Team Imperial. Sorry I was only there in spirit. Maybe next year. Is there a seniors section? I should be good for a couple of years until Seymour catches me up!


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