On the morning of 1/26, I proceeded with my first ever purple belt comp. Started my day with a usual routine of waking up at 5am to a crying baby and 70 push ups. Packed my favorite gi and a custom Furacao rash guard and headed up to the venue. I must say that I had the jitters, similar to those that I used to get as a white belt.
After weigh ins and quick warm up, I was prepared to battle it out in my advanced absolute nogi bracket. On a side note, I was a bit taken back by how many of the competitors were wearing my Furacao ronin rashies. Anyhow, my opponent was a much smaller, scrappy wrestler. I decided not to test his stand up and dropped down for a quick heel hook. before I could lock it in, he grabbed a hold of my toe and cranked it. It immediately popped and he let go as I tapped. 30 seconds is all it took - what a bummer.
My next match was a gi absolute against a game, young 4 stripe purple belt of similar weight. I hit a throw on him, but screwed up the landing. It turned into a battle. Toward the end of the round, he secured a very basic cross collar choke. Unfortunately, I was unable to stand up to defend it and had no choice, but to tap. I lost the next two gi and nogi matches to a couple of savages, nearly getting my shoulder torn to shreds in the process.
The bottom line is that I have not prepared as well as I should have and underestimated my opponents. Thankfully, I learned quite a bit from the experience and probably hit some kind of a record for participation trophies. I received 4 medals in total. In the end I am hungrier then ever and there will definitely be some adjustments to my training regimen. It should also be mentioned that my own poor outcome was completely rectified by my student. He earned bronze in gi and silver in no gi, but that is something I will leave for the next article.
Thank you for reading! Videos of my matches will be up soon.