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Kyushu Open – Nov 9th Recap

November 11, 2008


Obviously one of the major benefits of entering a tournament is the amount of insight and knowledge that can be gained immediately after a match and long after the competitors have left the building. The autumn Kyushu Open was no exception.

Here are some of the things I picked up regarding my own performance and hopefully they can prove of some use.

Sliding knee open guard pass detail to remember:

I didn’t do that and it cost me points and then some. NOT getting the farside underhook is an open door to giving up the back. Yup, I gave up my back because of that – twice.

I’m on the bottom
trying to think of a happy place

If you give up your back: ESCAPE!
Do everything in your power to get out of that position; the chances of losing your match increase with each passing second. Really important if you’re in a competition match. Also, giving up your back is a huge setback (uh, duh), and takes a considerable amount of fortitude almost to the point of working light years more harder than your opponent (who’s trying their hardest to finish the match) just to get escape and back in the game.

Whatever it is I’ve been doing is pretty good
My conditioning impressed me. Before my first match I had to run outside to my car to get my driver’s license (so I can prove who I really am, ah, those Japanese rules) and run back to the check in area and then I immediately started my match, which I really don’t recommend anyone doing. But I never spent more energy than was necessary, my escapes helped me out a lot and I never got submitted.

Trying to get out of guard
but not trying hard enough

Whatever it is I’ve been doing isn’t enough
I found my overall performance to be lacking (I won on points). I especially disliked the match I gave up my back (pretty obvious why I’m not satisfied with that one). I really need to get better. I wasn’t fluid enough. I really didn’t push myself to my limits or see how intense I could be. I didn’t overwhelm my opponents. I didn’t impose my game.

But I did I take home silver and gold in my weight class and in the absolute respectively.

The two smallest guys in Paraestra Hakata

Tournament Highlights

The Match I was Dreading
My friend Matt who trains at Hakata and Shimosako-san of Teppo Ebi fought a match in the tournament. Since I both know them it was really stressful for me to watch their fight.

In a perfect world they would have fought through their weight division and met in the final match with both winning gold medals that would rain down from the sky. Instead this was a semi-final match which meant the loser would have nothing to show for his efforts.

I couldn’t watch
but I did take pictures

Compared to most of the blue belt matches of the day theirs was pretty quick. There was a takedown attempt, a sweep, a guard pass followed by another sweep and then a quick submission that most hardly saw happen.

Matt emerged the victor and to be honest it was a very bittersweet moment for me. I was very happy for Matt, but I felt really bad for Shimosako-san. I knew from the start that no matter what the outcome would have been I was going to feel good for the winner and feel sad for the loser.

Shimosako-san has been a blue for several years now and puts a lot into his training, he just hasn’t had any success in the tournament rounds thus postponing his promotion. I’m not saying people should be promoted because they “deserve” it. On the contrary, Shimosako-san wants nothing more than to earn his promotion.

Proof of Yamato Damashi
Hiromatsu-san of Teppo Ebi, one of the major tough white belts, fought in his weight division and in the absolute. He took a silver for his weight class. And he did all his matches while sick with a cold.

He is sick – like body aches and pains sick

I’m not surprised. This was the guy who got two ribs broken in the summer Kyushu Open and went training the next day.

Prove Your Jiu-jitsu
Matt pointed out two new referees making their debut at the Kyushu Open. They were both purple belts and we commented that’s probably one of the ways to prove you’re wicked at jiu-jitsu, actually refereeing a match.

Besides being responsible enough to oversee a fight, refs obviously have to have an in-depth knowledge of the jiu-jitsu game.

I added to our unofficial list of proofs “do a Genki Sudo dance in the middle of your match” although Matt’s addition takes the cake.

“Sweep your division while wearing a pink gi.”

Wouldn’t mind trying that one day. Then again I don’t think I’ll ever be good enough to wear a pink gi.

The Hakata Boys
Quality over Quantity

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2008 4:13 pm

    Hey Patrick, nice writeup. I’m sorry! I was totally insensitive to the situation with your friend Shimosako-san.
    Sure I won on the day but it could have been him any other time, and when he does finally get the success he deserves it will be that much sweeter because of the wait. I spoke to him after and he seemed at peace with it all, very friendly and happy. I’m sure I’ll run into him again and I look forward to it.
    Still working on my writeup!

  2. November 12, 2008 3:24 pm

    No worries there, Matt!

    Competition day is no time for mistakes or half hearted attempts. Even Tomo-kun, who I think is superb, lost his match by only one “advantage” point. I felt really bad for him too.

    But it’s all a part of the journey. And I think I learn more from losing than winning.

  3. November 12, 2008 6:56 pm

    Wait, did I read that right? You got silver in your weight but pulled the gold in the absolute? That’s awesome. Congrats.

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