Victory at the Boston Summer Open (Athlete Journal 34)
On Saturday I competed in the Boston Summer Open. What started out as an unbelievably disappointing day turned out to be one of the most satisfying and exciting tournaments I have ever competed in.
I was already a little disappointed before the tournament even started because I only had one other competitor in my division. At no point in time am I looking for an easy opportunity to get on the podium, so the more competitors in my weight class, the better. But this is something I can’t control, and I began to prepare myself for one single match in my division.
Competing Against a Teammate
After weighing in, I was mentally prepared and ready to go. Unfortunately, my lone opponent missed weight and got disqualified. That meant that I wouldn’t have any matches in my weight class and would have to wait for another three hours and compete in the absolute (open weight) division.
I can’t explain how disappointed I was after hearing this news. The guy that missed weight came up to me and apologized profusely. All I could say was, "Don’t worry about it." Unfortunately these things happen and it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
So I waited around for the absolute division to start and things continued to not go well. When the brackets came out I was informed that I would be competing against one of my own teammates in the first round. After talking about what to do, we decided to just go out on the mat and compete. He gave up a lot of weight against me, but we still had a pretty good match.
The Final Match
But after I won that match, I moved into the finals. That is where it all changed. I found out I would now be competing against same opponent who submitted me in the absolute finals just a few weeks ago at the New York Summer Open. I can’t tell you how jacked up I was to get another opportunity to compete against him. He really put it on me a couple weeks ago, so I already knew how good he was and how hard it would be to get the win against him.
We had an epic back-and-forth grip fight for the first five minutes of the match until, on the thirteenth takedown attempt, I finally got him down. Once I got my two points, there was no way I was going to give up sweep or any position for the rest of the match. That was it. I finally won the absolute gold at purple belt.
What made it such a great competition for me wasn’t winning gold, but competing against such a good BJJ practitioner and having it go my way. I will probably see him again, and I can’t wait for another opportunity to test myself against such a good competitor.
Next up is a lot more training and getting ready for Master’s Worlds in November.
James Kearns is an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and also trains and competes in Olympic weightlifting. Learn more about James at his website, BJJ Barbell Strength, and follow his journals here every week.