31 May 2010

Gracie Invitational 2010 at SENI

Some geezer in a cool T-shirt and brown belt submission king Oli Geddes
Yesterday I competed at the Gracie Invitational BJJ tournament in London. I lost two fights to pick up a bronze, saw a ton of other great fights and took some nice photos. All in all a fantastic day out.

The Gracie Invitational was actually held over two days - men's white belts on day one and everyone else on day two. I only attended day two but I wish I came on day one, where my white belt buddies were fighting and I could have had time to visit all the martial art stands. Nevertheless I had enough time in the morning to do a quick tour and take some photos before prepping for my own fight.

My fights
There were only three of us in the master senior purple belt pluma category which meant a round robin of at least two fights each. My first fight was with Brendan Mackay from London Fight Factory. Brendan is a seasoned competitor, having fought loads in the UK and in Europe. I knew he would pull guard and work from there and indeed that's what he did against me. But Boy! I did not expect him to break my posture with the strength of the Terminator. I mean I did everything I thought was right, but he dragged me down and choked me from there. Damn!

My next fight was against Mark Phung, again, a very experienced conpetitor who has pretty much dominated the pluma scene for a long while. I did not expect to do much against him but weirdly I actually enjoyed this fight more. This time I pulled guard and I tried to work hard off balancing him and doing mini-attempts at sweeps. But somehow I cocked up and he mounted me. In my attempt to escape he armbarred me, duh!

I'm sure when I review my videos I'll see countless schoolboy errors and I hope I can learn from them. At the end of the day however, I had a blast, competing is fun and win or lose (more the latter in my case) I do learn from the experience and I think it helps my jiu-jitsu grow. Ok I'm not at the level of my peers, but I grow at my own pace, so I can take some comfort from that.

Team mates
I saw a lot of high quality BJJ fights. The Gracie Invitationals are always a high profile event and there were quite a lot of brown and black belts competing. Oli Geddes will be memorable for beating a brown belt with a loop choke in mid air. I swear as the two fell to the ground, Oli got the tap before his back hit the mat. Amazing stuff.

Dominique was on fire and dominated her way to gold in her weight and silver in the absolute. Quite rightly, Nick my coach presented her with purple belt straight after. We're all so proud of Dom, a perfect example of the humble, talented, inspirational athlete.

Young Dale Jones cried a Banshee WAR cry at the end of his final fight to win his juvenile division. I swear his roar could be heard from miles away.

Samuel Pavan and Rob Westney won silver medals and I got a bronze, so all in all, a good day out for Team Mill Hill RGA.

Mind you, since Nick was organising the brackets, he decided he would enter all of us as a fictitious team name of Brad McWilliams/FWAF Kun Do, much to the confusion of other teams ;)

Here are some favourite snaps I took:

and some more photos here.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


bigstew said...

Dude probably being a bit hard on yourself as I think you rolled better than you suggest having watched you. But we are all the same I got a nasty arm bar applied on me in the blue open weight and all I could think was, damn schoolboy got to stop reaching out. We are always our harshest critics.

Liam H Wandi said...

Sounds great that you competed at all buddy. We give ourselves way too little credit.

The pics look great too.

Meerkatsu said...

Ahh, thanks guys. I was pretty hard on myself after the BJJ British Open earlier this year, but I genuinely enjoyed myself this time on the mat at SENI and I certainly don't plan on giving up my competitive urges just yet. the tournament calendar looks a bit thin right now until after the summer so hopefully I can get another few in before the year is out :)


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