My First No-Gi Tournament
This was my first NoGi Tournament and I was uncertain how I would do outside of my comfort zone. The max age was Master 4. There were three in my bracket and one of the competitors was unable to compete due to a rib injury. That left just me and Shawn Holmstrom. I knew very little about Shawn. I only knew that he was a retired wrestling coach from Canada who beat one of my teammates in the Pans. We had two matches in the division and one in the Open Class. I won all three, two by submission and one by points.
Master 5, Purple with Gi
Unfortunately the only opponent I had in the Gi was Joao Carlos Silva and he was injured. So we spoke beforehand and decided to do a gentlemen’s agreement so that both of our teams could receive points. He is in my bracket for the 2015 Worlds so hopefully we will meet again.
2 Valuable Lessons
#1. Make sure you know what the weight requirement is. I was shocked the night before the tournament to learn that there was a 6 1/2 pound difference between Gi and Nogi. This meant that I was 4 pounds over the max which was 188.5. Needless to say, I skipped dinner, stop drinking fluids and hit the treadmill. That sucked and will never happen again.
#2. Read the uniform requirements very carefully. Since this was my first NoGi Tournament I did not read the rashguard requirements carefully. I was told that I had 5 minutes to find a purple rashguard or I would be DQ’d. This is not something you want to hear minutes before you step on the mat. IBJJF requires that at least 10% of the rashguard has the belt color. Since one of my opponents Joao Carlos Silva was injured he was nice enough to loan me his. Thanks again Joao.