Today, I got second place in the novice lightweight weight class at Mark Shrader's Third Annual Grappling Tournament. First, congratulations to the first place winner: Jay Morris. He is an awesome wrestler and grappler, and I wish him luck with his MMA career (no, we weren't fighting MMA).
Despite losing I shouldn't feel bad. In nearly six months of training I worked hard enough to lose 45 pounds (I'm 154 now); clothes that were too small for years are now too big. That was why I started grappling, after all. I only entered the tournament for the experience and not to place. I fought a tough opponent and still came out with a medal.
However, those are rationalizations. The only reason I got a metal is that there were only two people in my weight class: the champion and me. In other words, I lost and still received a metal. I was beaten in skill and strength. Even worse, during an exhibition later on, I tapped out to exactly the same submission from the same opponent. They weren't short matches, but they weren't especially long either. I'm angry at myself for losing in that way.
Every fight is won before anyone steps on the mat through how they prepare. Instead of dwelling on the past, I should direct my energies on the future.
- Deluding myself, I though I was improving against the people I usually train against. I guess my pride was hurt a little. I need to train against different people so I don't get used to anyone.
- The submission that got me was a guillotine. I need to learn to master, avoid, and counter them.
- I also have to work on initiating things from the guard. My confidence with guard work was virtually nill even before the tournament.
- I was out wrestled, so improving my stand-up is also a priority.
- I did not feel winded or tired at all during the match, instead I was simply overpowered. I need a better lifting routine to get stronger. However, I should maintain this weight at least (154). Therefore, I still need to do more jogging and cardio as well to lose the dead weight.
I was debating throwing the silver metal away (which says made in China on the back). However, I'll keep it to motivate me to work on these goals.