Its odd how a person can return to something that they haven’t been apart of for years and it still feels the same. I competed in the NAGA (North American Grappling Association) tournament yesterday and it was everything I expected… familiar faces, new faces, complete with attire I wish I could scrub from my memory but is forever stained.
My plan was to maintain my blood glucose level enough to compete more than once. My morning breakfast included grains, apples and cheese. I felt good and when my name was called, I checked in and almost with no nerves. We exchanged a friendly handshake and began the match. After the initial pull and tug of grips my opponent grabbed a single leg and just as we were falling I pulled her into my guard. My opponent trying to break guard squirmed out of the mat area. Stop, restart. Score 2-0, my opponent was awarded takedown points. Secure in my guard I started working and quickly put her into a deep triangle, then combined with armbar… my opponent was forced to defend and squirmed off our assigned mat. Stop, restart. I was offered to restart back in my guard or standing, I chose standing and secured my grips, placed left foot on my opponents right hip and transitioned to an armbar, she countered by stacking and I secured her in my guard. Stop, restart. Final minutes I went for the x choke. Its an odd sight when your opponents face starts to change colors, purple being the strangest. Buzzer goes off, four minutes is up and final score 2-0. I lost… my accrue of advantage points not awarded, no points for takedown.
Disappointed?! You bet, by all accounts I dominated the match, but that was not my entire reason for competing and it all hit me suddenly. Muscles were starting to seize, blur spots began to start, symptoms had started. I believe I should have gone the full four minutes without the restarts, because of the restarts my body was forced to stop the energy surge and try to ‘reboot’. Keep in mind the initial burst of adrenaline should suffice an entire match but throw in restarts and my system started fighting itself. I never stopped fighting, and I used every bit of muscle I could get to work and I did it. I was able to compete and compete well. I did have symptoms after but I had orange juice and glucose tablets ready to use.
I feel like with some minor adjustments, I can endure the occasional restart, but what is more important is that today I won, I was in control and I proved to myself that I can compete!
Advantage point is a move or submission attempt that causes his or her opponent to defend.