Maggie Moo Does Jiu Jitsu: Competition Time

10:59 AM Moo 0 Comments

With my training Partner, Natalie (Left) and Professor Kris Kim (Center)

So as promised I signed up for my first competition under United Forces BJJ on March 8th. I consider it a late birthday gift to myself.

I didn't really know what to expect going into it. All I know is that I was a mess leading up to it. I was nervous, my stomach hurt and just the mention of someone saying "hey when is your first competition" made me feel queasy. I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember, actively involved in team sports (rugby, basketball, relay track). Anyone who says the transition from team to individual sports is easy, clearly hasn't tried Jiu Jitsu.

The morning of the competition I anxiously peeled myself out of bed, tried to eat some bananas, listen to some reggae and get a pep talk from my boyfriend on the hour long ride to our venue. When we arrived I put on my Gi, went to get weighed in and found out no one had entered in my weight class (woot, one gold fatty medal for me) and that I would be competing in absolute (open weight).

My first absolute match was a blur. The second I hit the mat I felt like I was in a tunnel. I rushed in for the take down, knee on belly, worked my way to mount and started chipping away at her shoulders. My range of sight was so small and I was more exhausted than I have ever felt in my life. 1 minute honestly felt like I had been rolling for an hour. When the ref called us to our feet and my arm was raised for the win, I was just grateful to be finished.

My next match was more controlled and a lot more fun, as I got to try things I had learned in training. Including one hysterical attempt at an arm bar that I later decided to abort in favor of an Americana. This is the point where I realized how important it is to have a corner or a coach there to help you. It began to feel less like an individual sport and more like I was part of a larger team, the same way I feel when I'm playing rugby. My training partner and good friend, Jes, was amazing in helping me out along the way and making sure I could hear her and that I knew what to do. My rugby team showed up to support, my training partner Natalie was yelling from the side and my boyfriend was right along with Jes, guiding me through the match. Having that support really does make a massive difference.
(Jes, Center)
 I won the second match and advanced to take on my team mate, Natalie, immediately afterwards. I was absolutely exhausted and she was quite kind to me, giving me time to catch my breath before jumping my guard! It's always difficult to compete against a team mate and was a bit hard to take seriously but we had an awesome time and I lost on points as she advanced to the finals, where she dominated and was promoted to blue belt on the podium. It was pretty special to be able to compete against the woman who got me into Jiu Jitsu in the first place and has helped  (along with my coach Kris Kim) to make me feel so passionate about the sport.
The most well deserved promotion ever!

Telling my team mate I could see her cleavage Haha!
I didn't expect to win my matches, let alone come in third place overall. Not too shabby for a first tournament!

My amazing team mates!

All in All, it was an awesome experience. I'm down ten pounds and really looking forward to competing in a new weight class for my next tournament :)