Overall, a pretty good weekend for Atos. The weekend started with the FIVE tournament, which was apparently simultaneously gi and no-gi. I don’t know, I didn’t go– I didn’t want to spend two days in LA.
Regardless, everyone from Atos did really well; Keenan beat Jackson Souza in the finals, Mike Carbullido won brown belt open, and Nisar took third in purple belt open. I hear it was a long, long day though. You can find FIVE on Facebook here if you’re interested in competing in their events– they’re Canada-based and they run a nice tournament. All you Canadians should take advantage of this.
On Sunday, I drove up to LA to compete in the DREAM tournament– my first submission-only tournament. As far as I’m aware, it’s really the first women’s no-time-limit tournament ever. Pretty cool.
You can find DREAM on Facebook here. DREAM is based in southern California, out of somewhere in LA– they run some really awesome kid’s tournaments.
So…recap of the tournament. There were sixteen women in my division, which was literally the biggest division I’ve ever been a part of, and it was submission-only with no time limit, which was nerve-wracking but definitely exciting. There were some good women in the division, too– I think somewhere between six and eight of those women were high-level brown belts from some of the best academies in Southern and Central California. Overall, a really strong division. It was great to see so many high-level women in the same place. My fight recaps are below, if you’re interested; Newaza Apparel took video of the whole event so I hope they’ll have footage available at some point.
In my first fight, I fought Vanessa Show from Electric Jiu Jitsu. The fight lasted about a minute; despite promising myself I wasn’t going to attack her legs, I kneebarred her from a failed toehold attempt. Oops. It was good to finish the first fight quickly though, because I knew my second fight was going to be tough no matter who won. I had a long break between my first and second fight because my second fight, Kristina Barlaan, ended up fighting for about an hour with her first opponent. I definitely don’t envy her that fight at all. Kristina and I fought for about sixteen and a half minutes before I finally got a chance to catch her with a toehold… I had her in deep kneebars a few times, but her legs are so insanely flexible, I’m jealous.
After my second fight, I was into the semifinals. My break wasn’t very long here, because Judy Gomes, my next opponent, was finished with her fight well before I was. I got the requisite fifteen minutes, but it didn’t feel like fifteen minutes; I was pretty much just double-fisting water and preworkouts at this point, since I didn’t think I could handle any food. All the waiting earlier had made me a little sleepy. I expected to be so much more tired, but really, the only thing that was burning out was my grips. Note to self: need to work on grip strength. I made a mistake in my third fight, because I let Judy jump closed guard. That’s a habit I really need to break. I think she was fatigued though, because I was able to break out of her guard and pass without too much energy expenditure. She turtled, so I took her back and choked her with a modified loop choke I use.
During my last break, Tara White, my blue-belt teammate from Jiu Jitsu League, was facing Gracie black belt Tammy Griego and holding her own in the +136 lbs division. Tara has some fantastic technique, and she’s only been a blue belt for about a year. I’m really excited to see how she changes and improves in the future. The day before, in the no-gi FIVE division, she beat Tammy, but Tammy got the best of her in the gi. Still, I’m proud of how Tara fought, and with some fine-tuning of her technique, she’s going to be unstoppable.
My last fight was with Jacqueline Amorim from Checkmat. This girl had the strongest pistol grips I’ve ever felt. I made some mistakes in this match as a result of being too tired– like misjudging her flexibility in the turtle and missing the back-take (this is what I get for training only with boys ) but I caught her with a kneebar during the scramble at about twelve minutes into the fight.
So… yay! $1000! Down payment on a new car!