EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of James Kearns. James 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.

 

Athlete Journal Entry 5 - 2/5/2014

 

This week my training for the upcoming competition on Saturday (NAGA Philadelphia) consisted mostly of me lying on the floor taking massive amounts of Advil. This is obviously not what I had planned, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

 

The week began with a good competition drilling session at Tactical Combat Academy. Everything felt great and my transitions felt good, but after completing the last drill for the night, it all went downhill. When I leaned back and went up to a knee to get ready to stand up, it felt like someone had hit me in the lower back with a hammer. So for the rest of the week I did nothing but rest - no training, no weightlifting, no nothing. I was still hoping that my back would be okay so I could do the tournament on Saturday, but I was a little disappointed when Thursday came around and I was still in a good bit of pain. On Friday night, however, I rolled around on my living room floor a little bit and decided I would be good enough for competition time.

 

My first competition of 2014 went as follows: I lost my first match 0-2 and won my second match by submission (north-south choke). I finished with a bronze medal. I was disappointed and discouraged with my performance in the first match, and although I had a strong showing in my next match, it still didn’t make me feel any better about my performance for the day. My back was a non-issue. The only time I even noticed it was between matches, but when I was on the mat, it didn’t bother me at all.

 

After every competition it is important for me to identify and correct any problems that I had. This is what video is for, to review matches and fix problems. The problem I had in the first match was that I could not get my opponent to turn enough when I was trying to set up the takedown. Since I am predominantly a top player, getting the takedown is very important for me. This means that I must now add some more takedowns to my game to account for someone who is being extremely defensive or who I just can’t get down. 

 

After going over things with my coaches on Monday, I will either add some more takedowns and throws or work on guard pulling to set up the sweep. Even though I am disappointed about my performance on Saturday, I excited to evolve my jiu jitsu game and become a stronger and more complete competitor. I’m planning to compete again in March (The Good Fight in Langhorne, Pennsylvania) and then after that it will be time to start IBJJF competition.

 

In a week with a few ups and downs, I did get some pretty good news. The Brazilian jiu jitsu gi and clothing company DO OR DIE and Team Hyperfly will be supporting me for the 2014 jiu jitsu season. So thank you to DO OR DIE, and please check them out at their website

 

Sunday

BJJ: Competition drilling

 

Monday-Friday

Rest from back injury

 

Saturday

BJJ: NAGA Philadelphia BJJ Tournament

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