Going to Worlds (Athlete Journal 30)

It’s official: If I can come up with the means, I’ve decided to head to Worlds in about a month.

This week was pretty awesome! I had five days off for Easter break, which wasn’t enough at all. I thought I would get so much school work done, but instead I caught up on some much needed sleep. That’s okay, though.

I think I’ve mentally clocked out of school for the rest of the semester, anyway. I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not the right thing for me, but that’s a subject for my school advisors to deal with.

On a more positive note, I officially decided that I’m going to try and get to Worlds. It’s only about a month away, so I have to kick it into high gear to prepare. The most challenging part will be getting enough money to make it out to California. I’m not worried about training because I know I have the best coaches and training partners behind me. I know it was kind of a last-minute decision, but I believe that I can prove myself.

Even though I decided last minute that I would officially try to make it to Worlds, it has been on my mind for the last two weeks. That’s why I started turning it up during training. During my rolls, I’m trying as much as I can to implement my own game and show some intensity. If I get swept, I sit right back up. If I get mounted, I go immediately for the escape instead of lying there and letting them settle. Of course I’m still getting beat by some of my training partners, but that’s okay. I need those challenging rounds!

This week in classes we are learning the lockdown, made famous by Eddie Bravo. Eddie Bravo recently used this technique against Royler Gracie at Metamoris and it caused a huge stink. Royler didn’t tap to anything during the twenty-minute match (because he’s awesome), but Eddie sure gave him some fits. Because of its recent highlight during Metamoris, it is expected that the lockdown and corresponding techniques like the electric chair may become more common in the tournament scene. It always sucks when someone uses a technique on you that you’ve never seen before, so I thought this week’s lesson plan was great.

I don’t know if I’ll hit another tournament before Worlds. I think I’m going to take this upcoming month and really focus on it. This is going to be the most important competition I ever go to. Every day I’m going to be rolling hard and doing a lot of positional drilling. I’m also going to continue my lifting regimen that I have been doing three days a week. And although my diet isn’t too bad as is, I’m still going to clean it up a little. I want to be as physically prepared as possible.

While training for Worlds, I will also be scratching up some extra money to get myself from Pennsylvania to California for five days. It’s going to be challenging, so I will be saving a lot of my money, possibly selling items, and I have also started a PayPal fundraiser page. I’m not proud of taking handouts from people, but it would help me so much if I could even get an extra five dollars here and there. If I can raise enough money and actually get out to California, I know I will do really well. So please consider helping me out. I’ll make you proud!

Jess Papi is a blue belt at Scranton MMA and also pursuing her degree in exercise science. Read her entries every week for insights on competing, training, and juggling BJJ and life.