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A Medal Just for Showing Up

I started BJJ because I wanted to compete. To me, BJJ is a sport. I do the self-defense stuff because in the lineage I'm a part of, it's important, but really I'd rather be focusing on sport training. That doesn't mean I'm a berimboloing, worm guard loving meta-gamer that knows exactly how to stall or score an advantage. I love the basics. I just think "basic" is 'holding mount well' rather than doing a bodylock takedown from a punch block.

I'm a roosterweight, and that means it's really hard for me to get matches. In fact, I usually compete up a weight category, sometimes two.  I travel to compete, because there are more light women down south.  This time I went to Surrey to compete in the open there, and I entered the Feather category, which is two categories higher than my normal weight. It cost me around £300 for the train fare, the hotel and the entry fee.

I stood in the warmup area waiting for my opponent. I looked at all the women as they came onto the mat. She's a white belt so it can't be her. She looks a bit tall to be a feather, but I'm terrible at guessing weights, maybe it's her... 

I waited, and waited... when my category had been and gone by 40 minutes, I checked the schedule and listened for the matches being called, and noticed that a category AFTER mine was already running. So I asked the weigh in desk. My opponent hadn't shown up. Not only that, but women's lightweight had already run too, so I couldn't even go up another category.

I decided I'd take my default gold:

I don't like just taking a medal though so I entered the absolutes as well. I got matched against a judo player who was 50lbs heavier than me. That's quite a difference considering I'm sub-100lbs myself.

The match was really boring. A lot of her not being able to pass my guard. Then a lot of her almost passed and me struggling to do much from turtle. I'm disgusted with myself watching it, because it looks like I'm not trying. But I know that at the time it was really hard work. The weight difference was just too much. I lost on points. That was my one match in the absolutes. Then I had a long train ride home.

Still, I really like the Surrey open. It's a good tournament and the staff are really friendly. This was my second visit. Last time was plagued with no-shows as well, although they at least just shrank the category to a round robin, nobody lost out on matches. I'll be back next year and hopefully have a better time of things!

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