Gold at the New York Pro (Athlete Journal 42)

James Kearns

Athlete Journal - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Olympic Weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

After winning gold in the heavyweight and absolute divisions this past weekend at the New York Pro, I’m feeling pretty good as I get ready to head out to Masters Worlds this week. 

 

I worked my game plan pretty well at the New York Pro. Unfortunately, out of the four matches that I had, only one of my opponents didn’t pull guard. Although I want to stand and work for the takedown, this has been something that I have been preparing for and I was ready. My passing was nice and my transitions flowed smoothly.

 

 

james kearns, athlete journal, ibjff, bjj, tournaments

 

Working My Weaknesses

Even though I had a lot of success at the New York Pro, there are some things in my game that I still need to iron out this week. The biggest problem I ran into was the referees. Not that the referees were not doing a decent job seeing the matches, but that they were not understanding what exactly I was trying to do when I was in side control.

 

RELATED: When Referees Go Wrong: How to Handle Wrong Calls

 

For example, I got called for stalling on three separate occasions Saturday. In my first match, I was trying to set up a lapel choke from side control. Since I was pulling my opponent's gi between his own body and the mat, the friction of the action, the weight of his body, and the transition of the grips made for a slow-developing set up. Although I was actively setting this up, the referee saw it as a lack of activity. 

 

In my second match, I was setting up the same choke and a different referee called me for stalling. Then in my absolute finals match, I got called again. While I was in side control, I explained to him that I was working hard to set this up. It made no difference because he gave me a second stalling warning. In the end, it had no bearing on the outcome of the match, but it is still discouraging that something that I have been working hard on for the last two months will have to be re-evaluated for its effectiveness. 

 

"I have no idea what to expect next week, but I do know there was absolutely nothing more that I could have done in preparation for the Masters World Championships."

After the match I had a good conversation with the referee about what I was trying to accomplish and why he didn’t see it the same way. Keep in mind, this conversation was exactly that - a conversation. At no point in time will I intentionally show up a referee, no matter how bad I though the call was (and I have been on the wrong side of some absolutely awful calls). He simply stated that although I may be trying to improve my position or set something up, I need to move faster. I disagreed, thanked him for his explanation, shook his hand, and went on my way.

 

I Am Prepared

I may have to adjust that part of my game plan, but as far as my conditioning goes, absolutely nothing needs changed. I felt great all day long. At no time did I feel winded or tired, and I clearly had a large strength advantage in all of my matches. This week I will do one weightlifting day before heading out to California. On Monday, I will do some plyometrics, a barbell complex, and some core work. That will be my last strength and conditioning day of the week and of my program. 

 

LEARN MORE: The Truth About Conditioning for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 

I have no idea what to expect next week, but I do know there was absolutely nothing more that I could have done in preparation for the Masters World Championships. I have made a massive jump in skill as a BJJ practitioner because of it. Thanks to all who have helped me prepare for this. 

 

Monday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3x11
  • Oblique Push Ups 3x4
  • Plyo Pull Up 3x6
  • Barbell Complex @ 57.5kg
  • Hang Clean x5
  • Push Press x5
  • Front Squat x8
  • Row x8
  • Romanian Deadlift x8
  • Hanging Leg Raise

 

Monday - BJJ

Drilling, rolling at TCA

 

Tuesday - BJJ

Drilling, rolling at Daniel Beleza's

 

Wednesday - BJJ

Drilling, rolling at TCA

 

Thursday - Strength and Conditioning

  • Box Jumps 3x11
  • Oblique Push Ups 3x4
  • Plyo Pull Up 3x6
  • Circuit x3:
  • Dumbbell Split Squat x15
  • Pull Up x15
  • Incline Push Up x15
  • Hammer Curl x15
  • Medicine Ball Push Up x15
  • Medicine Ball V-Sits @ 20 pounds 3x15,15, 15

 

Saturday - BJJ: IBJJF NY Pro

James Kearns is an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and also trains and competes in Olympic weightlifting.Follow his journals here every week.

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