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The Morning After

The morning after a loss is an interesting thing. This weekend, my teammates and I traveled the IBJJF No-Gi Pans. Even though I lost my first match, I felt OK about my performance: my opponent was very skilled, and it wasn’t what I screwed up so much as what he did well that decided the match.

I had chances to win, and I do feel like if I’d made some different choices during the match that I could have — but that just means I need to improve my technique. Nobody likes to lose (at least, nobody that wants to win as badly as I do), but sometimes you do your best and the other guy is better. It happens to just about everybody.

This was my mindframe for the whole day yesterday. Had a blast rooting on my teammates (one of whom won double gold), meeting people and finally eating a meal without thinking about what was in it. I just kind of let myself enjoy the rest of the experience.

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Today, I’m a little more reflective and analytical. My subconscious mind must have been processing the match in detail for the past 20 hours, because now all I can think about it what I have to work on. How could I have finished that submission? Why was I hesitant to go for the sweep when I had it? Is it time for me to change my strategy and stop playing so much closed guard?

More or less, I’m really anxious to get back to training and work on all of that stuff. It’ll be nice to get back in the gi, too.

One great thing about jiu-jitsu tournaments is getting to meet all the best in the world — and occasionally getting an amazing story out of it. While I was competing, my teammate Harold had his shoulder pop out of joint during a match. The EMT was struggling with the injury.

Suddenly, over the barrier jumps none other than Renzo Gracie himself.

You may have heard about Renzo’s exploits combating muggers. Well, he’s even better at putting a shoulder back in than he is at fighting crime — and he’s pretty good at Twitter, too.

“I learned how to pull them out, so I learned how to put them back in.”

That’s right, Renzo jumps the barrier, puts Harold’s shoulder back in place, and heads back to his seat like nothing ever happened.

If I hadn’t met and talked with Renzo, I might not believe he is real. The guy is truly a larger-than-life figure, and it was an honor to meet him.

Next year, our team might just have to pop Harold’s shoulder out again — it seems like that’s Renzo’s equivalent of the Bat-signal.

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About Jeff

I write, work for social justice, listen to music and grapple. That's about it for now.

One response to “The Morning After

  1. he’s super friendly. we ran into him at the pro trials in nj/nyc. every bit as animated in real life as he is on tv/the internet

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