As a high-level competitor in BJJ you learn to take your losses along with the wins.
Only 50% of the athletes that step onto the competition mats come out with a win; with this comes celebration or disappointment. But you take the losses to your benefit and learn from your mistakes or shortcomings.
This past week I traveled across the country to Las Vegas, NV and competed in the IBJJF Master Worlds.
I came just short of my goal in my weight division and also the open/ absolute division coming home with a silver in both divisions. Obviously, most people hope to come home with gold, however I am more than happy with my performances.
I finished my first match with a bow and arrow choke and went into my final with a positive attitude.
My next and final opponent, beat me to the punch with a takedown landing me in a closed guard position.
For the next 4+ minutes I battled to submit her, coming just short and losing the match 2-0 landing myself with a silver medal.
I did qualify for the open/ absolute division, and eagerly registered after collecting my medal, with hopes of redemption in the open.
Most of all, I was excited to see the opponent who came out on top right behind me to also register.
I wanted to prove I could defeat her.
A few hours later, the open division began with 14 athletes registered, so 4 matches to meet my goal of a gold medal. I was eager to take her to the mat again. I had 2 dominant matches before we met again, and again I waited my turn to show what I had learned the past 5 years of training.
My mind was positive, my body felt good, and I had a swarm of people at the venue and even more back home rooting me on. We took the most, shook hands and “kombach”… the battle began.
We both battled for the grips we wanted, she attempted a take down which I read in advance and immediately got the reversal and landed on top. I attacked a few submissions from the top unsuccessfully, before taking her back.
This was my game…I have this.
Shortly after, I was able to get one of my signature moves… the arm lock.
I wanted to take her arm home with me. I still had another match after this, but this was a gold medal itself in my mind.
I was able to come back from a loss, take that, and turn it into a win.
Shortly afterward I met my final opponent in the open class division, I was again going in confident. I got the take down I wanted and was happy with the start of the match, however she was larger and was able to get under me, to what seemed to be her strong game. I got winded trying to defend her attacks and again fell short of my goal… the gold medal.
Closing out the World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship
I would leave with a double silver in the Ladies Brown Belt Master 2 Division and Absolute. Even though I came short of that goal, it was a win in my books just defeating that opponent that previously came on top.
The icing on the cake for this tournament was being asked to coach and root on my teammates and friends during their own battles – and watch them achieve their own goals.
Even though you will take losses in your BJJ journey there is always a way to find a win in your own books.
I know there is plenty of room for improvement in my game before my ultimate goal of a black belt world title.
But my turn will soon come, and I hope you are all there alongside me.