When Adam and I decided to register for the World Masters, I instantly felt the usual nervous feeling I get when I am about to compete. I looked at It as it was just another competition, something I had done many times before but this time I was going to be prepping for it in America – what a great place to get ready!!
Whilst we were in San Diego I had to tighten my diet to bring my weight down to my competition weight bracket of 64kgs (whilst wearing my Gi -which weighs approx. 1.5kgs). Since we left Australia my weight had been sitting at around 67kgs. While preparing our meals, I had to really read the labels on what we were buying as there is so much salt in everything here. Which results in me holding more weight than I usually would.
After the first night of classes at Drysdale Jiu Jitsu in Las Vegas, I had realised that my fitness was going to be getting an overhaul in the coming weeks. I had never prepared for a competition the way Robert and his coaches were running their Worlds Masters Camp, and to be honest I loved it. There is so much to be gained from preparing at an Academy full of so many competitors with a strong team environment.
I had also signed up to partake in Sophia McDermott’s Worlds Master Camp (this started the Saturday the kids were competing at the NAGA). Sophia is Australia’s first female black belt. I was looking forward to these sessions to prepare with just other women, as my usual preparation for competition is with the men at Newman BJJ. Sophia’s camp gave an insight into competing against women, with the opportunity to meet some amazing women from all over the world, some of whom had also come to compete. Almost all had come from clubs with low female numbers too, like myself.
As the classes passed and the competition preparation continued I was dropping weight and feeling great, but at the same time I was allowing my nerves for the competition to overwhelm my love of Jiu Jitsu. There were a few training sessions that would result in tears – thankfully these moments would occur whilst I was training with Adam and not with the amazing training partners I had recently meet.
Since Adam had to withdraw his registration due to injury from World Masters I had a greater desire to do well and show good Jiu-Jitsu Technique in my matches.
The World Masters started Thursday 24th of August, and the Blue Belt matches weren’t on till Friday 25th, my last training session was Wednesday, so that I could let my body rest and recover. On Thursday, we headed to the convention centre to watch some of the Black Belt matches and for me to get a feel of what and where everything was for Friday. As soon as we walked into the room, those nervous butterflies made an appearance a day early!!! The size of the event was huge, 21 competition mats to hold over 4500 competitors over the weekend. It was great to watch the matches, browse the stalls and catch up with some of the people we had meet on our trip so far, some of whom were competing over weekend. We then headed home to get to bed early for a good night’s sleep… this did not happen, as I just kept going over my game plan.
Friday came and I woke to find so many messages from friends and family wishing me well, having everyone’s support felt great. My weight was on point, my Gi and snacks were packed, we were ready to head to the convention centre to wait for my match. My nerves were so much worse than the day before as we entered the venue.
The time came to head to the bull-pen to weigh in, I was nervous but feeling great. That was until my mat coordinator called out our names to head out to the mats for our match. I became so overwhelmed with nerves on the walk that at one point I felt as though I was going to cry. Whilst waiting for the mat officials to be ready, I stood on the edge of the mat watching Adam, Lilly and Kobe on the other side of the barrier. I tried to focus on my game plan to keep my emotions in check.
Once the referee started my match, I felt as thou I froze and the game plan we had worked so hard on went out the window! The plan being not to pull guard, but to put the pressure on while standing so I could get the takedown or force the guard pull from my opponent. This would then play into my strong point, my passing game. Unfortunately, none of this happened and I spent the whole match trying to recover from the mistake I made in those first seconds, which resulted in me losing by a large points difference. That’s the way competition and Jiu-Jitsu goes sometimes; one wrong move or momentary lapse is all it takes to be over……it’s a game of millimetres.
I am disappointed on the outcome of my match, as my Jiu-Jitsu wasn’t good enough on the day and I will continue to drive forward and continue improving. I was very happy to have been through this experience thou as stepping outside your comfort zone is something that forces you to become better at everything you do!
We have uploaded my match to our Facebook page, if you wish to watch it.