My first tournament of the year — and the first one that counts toward my charity project — was this past Saturday.
More than 300 people entered US Grappling‘s NC State Championships this weekend. It was one of the biggest tournaments I’ve seen in North Carolina, if not the biggest. It was a very cool environment to be a part of: people drove down from West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to compete.
I had several great matches against very tough competitors. There are some seriously skillful individuals in my divisions.
Before I get to the results — hey, I’ve got to keep some semblance of suspense, even though everyone reading this was probably at the tournament except my mom — I want to say two things: first, I’m grateful for the two people so far who have agreed to match my donations to charity based on the number of competition matches I win this year. With their help, every win this year is worth $25 to charity. I was stoked to cost myself and my friends some money.
Second, this weekend made me think about the process by which we improve at jiu-jitsu. Primarily, my instructors and training partners are the people that help me get better on a day-to-day basis, and I owe them a lot. But in competing against good BJJ players that I don’t roll with on the daily, I notice different details about the techniques I use, and the techniques others use against me. Those competition matches always teach me a ton about what strides I’ve taken and what else I need to work on. So thanks, guys.
As for results: Out of of the four divisions I entered, I came away with two gold medals and one silver. I won gold in both men’s and 30+ no-gi at my weight, took second in the 30+ gi, and didn’t place in the men’s gi. I lost in the first round to the same dude I faced in the 30+ gi finals, a really tough and technical guy.
My teammates also performed righteously, when US Grappling posts the final results, I’ll share a complete list of their medals. Just don’t want to leave anybody out, and we had a ton of entrants.
I had entered all the absolute divisions as well: was looking forward to getting a bunch of extra matches in. Unfortunately, I have a nagging knee problem that I tweaked in my last match at weight.
Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious — but it still wouldn’t have been the smartest thing to play guard against dudes over 200 pounds with a gimpy knee, so I bowed out to roll another day. I love doing absolute, but I do enough dumb and fun things that I didn’t feel like adding to the list.
How’d it go for charity? Here are the numbers:
CHARITY PROJECT STATISTICS
Matches Won: 4
Total Won For The Year: 4
Money Raised For Charity: $100
Total Raised So Far: $100
Custom Photoshops: 2
Private Lessons: 1
CHARITY VOTES (the standings for the second charity I’ll give to):
George Pendergrass Foundation: 5
Carolina Basset Hound Rescue: 5
Reporters Without Borders: 3
Wounded Warrior Project: 2
Remember, voting is still open: I’m donating to the Women’s Debate Institute already, but will donate to another charity chose by people who vote as well. Right now, leading the charge are two local charities, the anti-cancer George Pendergrass Foundation and Carolina Basset Hound Rescue.
Thanks as always for reading! Big fun this weekend. Next stop: Submission Only Greensboro.