I'm still broken. But, not too broken. I'd say I'm 85% better. Knee has popped again since initial injury at the end of July. Not as painful as the first time, but it's confirmed something is definitely wrong in there..
I've been to see a knee specialist and I have an MRI scan booked for the first week of December. GP told me not to train in the meantime. Silly GP's..
I've been taking it easy but it's felt stronger as time goes on. I have the odd wobble (usually when I've been stood up for longer periods of time) but no real issues at training.
Other than moaning about my gammy knee, here's an assortment of stuff I have been up to:
1) Tabbage. I got my fourth tab! (Wheeeeyyyyy!)
A really nice surprise. I'm thankful I've continued to (sensibly) train despite being injured as it's definitely paid off. Every tab I've earned I've felt like my Jiu Jitsu has progressed significantly between each one. I don't agree with sticking to IBJJF style gradings of 1 tab per 4/6 months or whatever. Progression is a personal thing, and as such, it needs to be a very personalised system between a student and their coach.
2) Making a return to competition
I was asked by Tom Barlow to photograph the Plymouth Open (a couple of days before the competition). I agreed (as I enjoyed doing it last time) but mentioned that if I knew I was spending the whole day in Plymouth, I would have entered to fight myself, as my knee had been holding up well for the past few weeks.
He replied telling me he has entered me to fight too! I was excited, but I also felt like a bit of a gate crasher. The 2 girls already entered in the blue belt division were 49kg and 61kg. I'm a voluptuous 74kg at the moment (should get back on the Paleo...).
My biggest aim was to try out some shin on shin/open guard stuff I had been drilling at training. Which is what I did. But I also wanted to win. 5 silver medals on the trot at blue was enough, I wanted gold this time. However, I wanted to win because my Jiu Jitsu was better, not because I had a weight advantage.
My first fight was against Kirsty Utting. I had not fought her before, but I was aware of her. She has been a blue belt for a similar length of time as me, and I knew she was a Judo black belt. No way in hell was I standing with her, weight advantage or no weight advantage.
(Side note- Pictures! Why you no resize?! No tool bar to make them all big and sexy. Fine. Screw you.)
Sitting to guard, before I get thrown on my ass.
The fight pretty much went deep half- sweep- pass- regain- pass- got swept- swept back again.
In my second fight, I fought Zayna Davis. I've trained with Zayna a few times at GB Plymouth and we have a considerable weight difference. 49kg to 74kg is a massive weight difference, so I was determined to not play a top game at all, and work on my guard even more.
I spent most of the fight trying to pull of a shin on shin sweep. I attempted it a lot, but every time I almost pulled it off, she popped straight back up again. I earned a few advantages, but it was a while before I pulled off a sweep to get some points. I tried a couple of tornado guard- back take attempts that I do in the gi, but struggled to keep a grip on her ankles to finish it off.
I managed to play around in a lot of positions I've never used in competition before liiiiike....
De La Riva,
Inverted guard aaaand
I won by a couple of sweeps and my handful of advantages. I was very happy. I got to really have fun with my Jiu Jitsu. I wasn't crushing my opponents to death with shoulder pressure and living up to my nickname. (I might request a renaming..). I actually enjoyed it, and didn't want to hear the buzzer sound!
Me and my biggest fan
Yeah, I was happy to have walked away with a gold medal. I felt like my Jiu Jitsu was a thousand times better than the last time I competed- which is what I want.
I compete so I can
- Work out what I'm crap at.
- Train so I'm not as crap at it anymore, so I can then
- Test my improvement and progression at competition.
Massive shout out to G who won double gold in the white belt division, Sam smashed and got double gold in the purple belt division and Cal won gold in the blue belt. Fightworx Jiu Jitsu! (Oss and all that...)
(Sorry about crap quality. Click to watch in HD- even though it's crappy HD)