I won first place in both the gi and no-gi lightweight novice divisions in the Ultimate Force 2005 grappling tournament. I fought twice with my kimono on and twice without. Therefore, I went 4-0 today. Pictures and video forthcomming.
I should feel great; however, I don't. I spent all week stressing over my weight (I was 160, now I'm 152) and having nightmares about losing in the first ten seconds. It is a relief that I don't have to worry any more!!! However, I am still a little nervous since now I must to well for now on. I will have to fight in more experienced weight divisions like intermediate or beginner in the future... I feel like everyone expects me to do good, and I keep thinking I will choke.
I even found myself rationalizing my wins. With my kimono on, the first person I defeated was a lot lighter than me and actually wanted me to go up a weight class. He is my friend and I look up him; I still feel he has better technique than me. In the championship gi match, my opponent was also a friend. I actually think fighing people I know is more fun, but he had trouble getting intense for the match. I ended up winning by scoring 12 points more than him (a technical submission).
Without the kimono I almost lost both matches; however, I won at the end partly because my opponents were wrestlers not grapplers. Their technique was very bad, and I just held out until they made a mistake. I tapped both of them; however, they were in much much better shape than me. I was very intimidated and expected to lose.
Does this take away from my victories? This is the first time I ever won first place at any sport. I want to be proud, and I bragged a little. But too much pride is often a sin (and not solely for religious reasons). I feel humbled by my opponents, yet nervous about the future. I'm even sad a little for hurting them enough to submit during the matches! (Not enough to quit, but still is worries me.)
I began studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu only to lose weight. Now I have, but I still feel fat. My self image is shot even though I won first place twice. Does anyone else feel not as good as they thought they would after winning?