A small group of competitors from BJJAA/Checkmat Amsterdam went to compete at the Belgium Nationals tournament. Just like last month at the Den Haag BJJ Open, it was once again a great success; the team brought back more medals than signed up competitors. Want to know how they did that? Then keep reading this post by BJJAA/Checkmat blue belt Daniël.
Saturday was a beautiful day: a bright sun, barely any wind and not a cloud in sight. Of course we wouldn’t be able to enjoy it since we would spend the whole day in a sports hall in the picturesque city of Meeuwen-Gruitrode competing in the Belgium Nationals. I wouldn’t want it any other way though.
Serena and Chiara where up first, competing in the women’s white belt division. The division had all weight categories together. The first fight of Serena was won with 2-0. She used a nice sweep to get the top position and maintained top control, to dominate her first opponent. In her second fight, the semifinal, she submitted her opponent with a beautiful triangle choke that was set up from her collar and sleeve control guard. Then in the final, she lost a close fight with 2-0. So Serena ended up with the Silver medal.
Chiara was on the other side of the bracket. Her first opponent did not show up, so she immediately advanced to the semi-final. She lost her first fight in the semifinal, but bounced back strong in the second fight for the 3rd place. It looked like it was going to be a tough fight because her opponent was a lot heavier. Nevertheless she won, by submitting her opponent with a triangle choke as well. Thereby she secured the bronze medal, which is her second medal in two tournaments with only 5 months of training.
Next up was my division. The tournament was bit delayed so I had a lot of time to get into the zone, as shown in the picture below made by Kevin Kwee.
After the waiting was done, it was time for action. My first fight didn’t take too long. Within a minute I got into a footlock position and with the details from the Thiago Abreu seminar from last month, it wasn’t too hard to finish the footlock from there. The next round I had a bye, because my opponent didn’t show up, so I went straight to the final. This time I used the footlock position to sweep and get to the top position. From the top position I started to work my passing game, however my opponent was good in playing guard by using my lapel, so I couldn’t finish my passes. In the end, the sweep from the footlock position was enough to give me the win, with the final score 2-0 and 1 advantage in my favor.
Now the biggest part of any tournament: waiting. After about 2.5 hours the blue belt open class commenced. My first fight I won again with a footlock. In my second fight, the semifinal, I had to face the toughest oppenent in the open weight division, a Checkmat teammate from Belgium. During the match he managed to pass my guard, from there he almost choked me. I managed to escape and retain my guard, but he passed again. This time, he was able to secure the choke and thus I lost the fight.
It was not the end though, I still had to fight for the 3rd place. I had to face the same guy I defeated earlier in my first fight of the day. The fight started and it was another footlock battle. I committed for the same thing, but he had grabbed an Estima lock while I was attacking. I tried to roll out but I had to tap. The ref stopped the fight and fortunately he saw that my opponent had an Estima lock, which is illegal until brown belt.
Even though having your opponent being disqualified is the least satisfying way of winning, and my foot was hurt, I was still happy to take home the third place trophy for the absolute, especially since I competed in the lightest weight class. Now it’s time to get back on the mats and start working on ways to get higher up on that absolute podium.
Nice guest blog post by Daniël. Final results Belgium Nationals for BJJAA/Checkmat Amsterdam, with 3 competitors: