Vancouver BJJ Championships
Saturday October the 4th was the third annual Vancouver Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships, once more at the Fridge Gymnasium in Richmond, BC. As usual, it was set up and hosted by Katana BJJ, and event photography provided by Alex Law Photography.
Overall turnout was lower than usual, and there are many factors that probably played a part, including the teacher’s strike. It was a nice change to not have the venue jam-packed, stuffy, and humid, and one could hear all of the announcements for brackets and winners. There was also a lot of parking since all of the kids were gone by the time we arrived. They were running about 15 minutes ahead of schedule; this was fortunate as there were several purple-belt matches that went straight to the no-time-limit submission-only final, which pushed things back a tad. I also missed the brown belt matches.
This was my first foray into the Master’s division (30-39 years old), but I continued with the blue belt lightweight (168lbs), and my 15th overall tournament. The bracket was originally 5 of us, and then was suddenly 3. I was up first against Vincent Mabanta of Dynamic/Checkmat, and at one point he had a really strong cross-face to try and break the grip I had on his thigh – my defense against his attempts to pass my guard – but his arm went across my nose and upper lip. I thought for sure the ref would call a stop as soon as we separated, because I assumed that my nose would be bleeding profusely. But it was more fine than not, so we continued on. Vincent earned an advantage and a penalty, which technically put me ahead on the scoreboard, but in the last minute he secured a pass and rear-mount to win 7-1-2 to 0-1-0 (Points-Advantages-Penalties).
Since there were only three of us, the one who got a “by” faced the loser of match 1, which was me. Matt Gri of Gravity/Caio Terra was quick to jump guard, and then spend quite a lot of time trying – and failing – to work a choke in from guard. He ended up pulling my gi over my head more than once, which was rather annoying. He was up in advantage points as I tried to secure rear-mount, but I couldn’t get my second hook in long enough. Matt faced Vincent in the finals, and Vincent landed a bow-and-arrow choke rather quickly to secure gold.
In the end I took bronze, and came out of it with some good goals in mind, and a few things reinforced. I countered double-underhooks quite well this time around, and my biggest thing to work on is pressure while transitioning. Now I need a new medal case, as this is lucky #13! It wasn’t my best performance, but I’m proud to have represented Triangle Athletics and Genesis Martial Arts on the podium.
–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?