prototypemmeh

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Tag: Cobrinha

CBJJF Vancouver International Open

Saturday December 5th was the launch of the inaugural Vancouver International Open tournament, hosted by the CBJJF at the UBC War Memorial Gym.  They had close to 700 competitors, and a schedule that would have doors open at 7:45AM and the final matches start around 8PM.  A long day for all of the staff and volunteers, but we got through it with few incidents.  I had a few jobs as the day progressed: I started at the weigh-in table, moved to score-keeping and semi-impromptu ring coordination, and ended with Gi/No-Gi checks combined with a bouncer-style position to ensure a specific area remain open to those with a media or coaching pass.

I registered for Gi and No-Gi, Master 1 Middleweight for both.  The Gi division started as six of us, but had a late addition from the Master 2 bracket when half (a.k.a. one) of the opponents didn’t show up.  There ended up being three of us from Genesis, but fairly well separated by other matches.  My own match didn’t go very well, my long-time opponent Clay from Gravity BJJ pulled me down into a tight triangle choke in the opening seconds while I was busy setting up for a single-leg attack.  He was rewarded with the tap and moved on to face my teammate Rich.  At this point I was starving, so I grabbed some lunch from the volunteer’s food table and sat down with my cousin Courtney who had arrived in time watch my quick match.

My RDC teammate/cousin Mike had arrived as well, so we had a small family gathering of cousins until I returned to my volunteering duties.  The tournament was running behind as the day progressed, at the worst being about an hour behind schedule, but started getting back on track as the No-Gi division started.  Clay and I faced off once again, this time we battle for several minutes until a scramble gave me the opportunity to sink in a Rear Naked Choke at the expense of securing the position.  The gambit paid off and I was rewarded with the tap.

As always I was decked out in crisp new Gi from Triangle Athletics, and my go-to shorts and long-sleeve rashguard.  I haven’t worn the rashguard in a while, keeping to short sleeves while wrestling, but putting it on felt like coming home again; familiar, comfortable, and wondering why I didn’t wear it sooner.

Many of my Genesis teammates competed as well, and several of them made it to a podium finish.  Some of them competed in No-Gi for their first time with no prior training and had a lot of fun.  It will likely be my last tournament until February of 2016, and in the meantime I’ll be busy studying, enjoying time off, and starting yet another semester.20151205_184130

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

Katana BJJ Roots Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Challenge III

Saturday August 8th was the 3rd Roots BJJ Challenge, hosted by Katana BJJ.  Originally I wasn’t going to compete, deciding that I wanted to work my game a little more between tournaments.  They changed venues, from the Fridge Gymnasium to the Richmond Olympic Oval.  This move immediately solved the parking issues, even if it did mean paying about $1/hour.  The space inside meant they could run four mats instead of their usual three, and they had a good sized bull-pen area and a clear entrance/exit for the paramedic.

I volunteered for most of the day, being the scorekeeper  for Mat 4.  I got to see a few great matches and watch some teammates and friends compete right in front of me, which is always a bonus of being front row.  I also decide to compete, joining my usual Master’s 1 Middleweight division.  I was a comfortable and relaxed 168 pounds with my gi on, and the third man in my three-man bracket.  Yo Sik and Joshua went first, with Joshua falling prey to a triangle/armbar combination.  After they rested, I faced Joshua and won 10-0 after trying and failing to secure two submission attempts on him.  After another rest, I faced Yo Sik in the Gold medal match, and got myself on the scoreboard thanks to a great single-leg that led to a scramble which ended with the 4-point rear-mount secured. Yo Sik managed to slip out before I could go for any submission, and I stopped his great scrambles and kept him off of the scoreboard.

I had fun in both matches, and so did my opponents.  As it turned out, it was Joshua’s first ever competition, and I’m certain that he took the experience well and will be a force to be reckoned with soon enough.

My cousin Courtenay managed to make it out to watch me compete and record my matches, and she had a lot of fun.  I want to sit down with her and provide some commentary on the positions, scoring, and why we do the things we do.

Maybe the key to success for me is zero prep for two weeks, just something to consider.  For now, back to the academy to train!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

CBJJF B.C. Provincial 2015 BJJ Championships

Saturday June 13th was the 3rd Annual CBJJF B.C. Provincial BJJ Championships, hosted in the Abbostford Centre.

The long-quick of it: I competed in Master’s 1 Middleweight for Gi – Blue Belt – and No-Gi – Intermediate, taking Bronze in Gi and Silver in No-Gi.  I shot three take downs and scored with all three, and finished a submission in a tournament for the first time in a long time: a bow-and-arrow choke.  I was also able to get some coaching in, with mixed success.  Last, but not least, I assisted with setup the night before and volunteered the day of.  More on that in a later post.

Many thanks to my awesome sponsor Triangle Athletics for their continued support, I definitely looked good on the mats with their sweet swag.  Major props to all of my teammates and friends who went out there and competed; some of them took home battle-tested hardware, others stepped onto the competition mats for the very first time.  And major thanks to the CBJJF staff, referees, coordinators, and volunteers for making such a major tournament possible and keeping it running very smoothly.

Having a venue like the Abbotsford Centre is great: plenty of seating for friends, family, and teammates; a zone for coaches; catering for the staff and volunteers; assistance from the Abbotsford Centre staff in setup and tear-down; and plenty of parking.  One of the best moves the CBJJF has done is experiment with the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, and received huge feedback in favour of such venues.  Thus far, the CBJJF has also used the War Memorial Gym at UBC, and the aforementioned SOEC and Abbotsford Centre.

20150613_162937 image–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army.

Proving Grounds

I must say that my choice of tournaments thus far in 2015 has been a little more unusual compared to my standard resume.  While I have been to only two this year, they have both been Submission Only tournaments, and one of them a Round Robin format.

A year ago I competed in the Proving Grounds Qualifier II in Bellevue WA, and had a lot of fun.  I was looking forward to making my return to Washington, and to a bigger venue.  The drive down was great, quick border crossing, easy traffic, and no construction to delay things or re-route me.

Unfortunately, my first match started with my opponent trying a flying triangle.  I blocked it enough that his legs couldn’t lock up around me, but he still had a good collar grip.  We went down to the mat, and the referee ruled it as a slam and DQ’d me.  My opponent argued against the call, and managed to give the choice to my remaining four opponents.  Two of them took the easy win points, and two of them opted to let me on the mats with them.

I’m already three matches down at this point, with a score of 0 versus three of my opponents with a score of 3.  It would take everyone else going to a draw and me winning both matches in order to get a podium spot, but I only managed to get one win.  I will say that my back-take is superior to what I saw that day, the Cobrinha lockdown is an amazing tool to get the superior position and then work on the submission.  I pulled off a modified bow-and-arrow – essentially a very lazy lapel choke – that Coach Jordan showed me the night before.  My other match I managed to take the back, but not soon enough and it went to a draw.

Thus I finished with 4 points to my name; a win, a draw, and three losses that shouldn’t have happened.  My late rally wasn’t enough to get me on the podium, leaving me feel disappointed and a touch betrayed.

There is a lot more that I want to work on and become proficient at, but I may be competing in too many tournaments and thus not giving myself the chance to let the new techniques become muscle memory.  The priority now is taking the time to seal up the holes in my game.  I might start a big flow-chart to help keep me organized.  I’ve found that putting things on paper keeps it from getting too overwhelming.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

Review: Triangle Athletics Shorts and Rash-guard

My first care package from Triangle Athletics was some No-Gi gear: a pair of board shorts and a long-sleeved rash-guard.

Let’s start with the Shorts:

  • Side slits for movement and performance.
  •  Velcro waist band with drawstrings.
  •  100% polyester micro stretch fabric.
  • Full sublimation

I’ve worn quite a few brands of shorts in my day, for wrestling and for No-Gi.  I like my shorts to be light and comfortable, with a waistband that flows with my movements. Well these shorts are quite possibly the best I’ve worn.  The micro stretch fabric is soft, comfortable, and light.  I barely noticed anything during my No-Gi matches.

Now the Rash guard:

  • Long-sleeved
  • Full sublimation
  • Elastic waist

I’ve only used one other long-sleeved rash-guard prior, so I’m more familiar with the short-sleeved versions.  However, what I do know is the cut of this rash-guard allows for quick and easy adjustments of the sleeves to straighten them if required.  The rest requires very little adjustment after the fact as it moves with the body.

I don’t do a whole lot of No-Gi training, and yet I enter the No-Gi divisions in tournaments.  These shorts and rash-guard were put into the line of fire almost immediately: two No-Gi rounds at the academy and then three matches at a tournament for a podium finish.  Now I have a hankering to use them all the time, and I have the perfect solution: I’m volunteering at a local high school to help their wrestling program.  Their coach is one of my college professors, so I can help the students out in style!

Check the gear out at Triangle Athletics, and decide on your colours!
BCProv2_Dec_2014_TARS_01BCProv2_Dec_2014_TARS_02 20141206_160538–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

Whirlwind Weekend

Well, Keri and I had quite the weekend adventures!  It snowed, we got a flat tire, changed to the spare tire, but the spare tire was flat as well.  It’s fortunate that she has her winter tires on another set of rims, so I picked them up and changed the tires.  While I was doing that, Keri was doing some laundry and sewing a patch onto one of my gis for an upcoming tournament.

Sunday we attended a Flavio Almeida seminar hosted by Revolution/Gracie Barra Langley.  Several GB students received promotions, including my friend Christian Tremayne to purple belt, and Jared Revel to black belt!  We learned some basic open-guard sweeps and attacks, all from the same position, so there’s no randomness to what was being taught.  Then we finished up with some positional sparring, separating the weight classes at 170 pounds.10537413_552205461581781_5684581140694656391_o

Now I’m down to the last two days of classes, most of which will be review, but I’m pretty sure Stats will still want to teach something.  *sigh*

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

Double Time!

I had yet another back-to-back set of tournaments:

  • CBJJF’s Western Canadian BJJ Championships in Penticton, BC, June 28th
  • Katana BJJ’s Roots BJJ Challenge in Richmond, BC, July 5th

I competed in Gi Lightweight for both tournaments, and in No-Gi Middleweight for the Western Canadians.

The Western Canadians!
Held at the South Okanagan Events Centre, it was spacious, with plenty of parking.  Inside were multiple change rooms and the new option to weigh in up to three hours before your scheduled division time.  This is a fantastic addition, allowing competitors to eat and hydrate before stepping on the mats.  My Gi Lightweight division was eleven large, myself included.  I unfortunately had to face off against RDC-teammate Cam Deleurme first round, and he got the better of me.  Between his stronger wrestling and my ineffective game plan, Cam maintained superior positions and secured a submission finish.  It was also the first tournament my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother were able to attend.  Definitely not my best performance.

After waiting the rest of the afternoon for No-Gi, our four-man division was called to the bull-pen and sent to mat 6.  My game plan seemed ineffective at first, I was stuck in bottom half-guard for three minutes or so, with a failed attempt to take the back, defending my opponent’s attempts at Kimura and Americana arm-locks.  Finally he destabilized his own base going for submissions that I was able to sweep him and secure the mount.  Now four points up, I could begin to work from a superior position.  Unfortunately, he managed a sweep in the closing 30 seconds, but in the end I prevailed 6-4.  It was onto the finals against Burnaby BJJ’s Zac who had a more dominant game and secured a rear-naked choke.  In the end I took Silver.

In between my Gi and No-Gi matches, I coached first-time competitor and teammate Eddie.  He was a recent addition to Genesis, and competed in the Master Male White Belt Middleweight division against five others.  He won his first match on points, second match via submission, and the finals via points.  My coaching voice hadn’t been used in a while, and barely made it to Ed’s third round.

Roots BJJ Challenge!
Once more held in the Fridge Gymnasium, it proved to be a busy tournament inside of a venue too small for the crowd.  Once more in the Lightweight Adult male division, I managed to arrive and change moments before they called my division up to the bullpen.  My first match would be against Graeme Martin of Powell River BJJ, the man I had gone against at the Copa Katana III in March.  Knowing this, I remembered his guard and triangles, and to shoot early and shoot fast for a takedown to bypass his guard.  Graeme kept me on my feet long enough to jump guard, and after transitioning from a cross-collar to an omaplata to a triangle, he sealed it in and finished it.  Lesson learned: work on breaking the guard quickly (or the standing break).

Now it’s about three months until the next tournament, which happens to be the day after my 30th birthday.  I’m looking forward to the Masters division, but I know that if there are not enough of us, we get sent to the Adult division.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

 

The Proving Grounds

Last week I updated my goals, and mentioned that I was soon to compete internationally.  Now it may seem like I’m making a big deal about competing internationally, but I know how long it takes for me to adjust; I’d rather not pay a lot in registration and travel and accommodation just to be overwhelmed by too many things.

Proving Grounds Qualifier 2, hosted by KYS Promotions, held at Ring Sports United, is a round-robin submission-only tournament.  That format promises to match a competitor against everyone in the bracket, or the best of three if there are only two competitors in the bracket.  The submission only aspect encourages finishes and attempts until the very last second of each match.  In order to determine a bracket winner and runner-up, points are awarded at the end of each match: three points to the winner by submission and zero points to the submitted, or one point to each competitor if there is no submission finish.  Total points are tallied once everyone has faced each other, and the most points gives you the first and second places.

In a bracket of two people, you do a best of three scenario, and in the event of a tie (i.e., one win to each competitor and one draw) there is an unlimited time tie-breaker match.  This is what happened to me.

Brendan (or maybe it was Brandon, still waiting on the official results to be posted), my opponent, and I weighed in at 164.6lbs.  We were assigned to mat 1, which featured the kids divisions in Gi and No-Gi before we finally went.  Actually, we were the last Gi division to go, the adult No-Gi had already started multiple weight divisions.  As soon as we locked up, I realized he was a very proficient judoka, and decided to pull guard to put me in a position I’m comfortable with.  After minutes of battling in guard, he finally managed to break it and sit in side control.  A judoka has a different style of sitting in top side control, one I have quite learned to how to escape from.  In their position, they can easily attack a keylock submission using their leg to provide leverage.  And that is exactly what he did.

Round 1 winner: Brendan
Points: 3 to 0

Our second round I realized I had one option: wrestle him.  I shot in early for a single-leg and dragged him down, managing to push past his attempts to re-guard me and transition into side control.  Most of the match is a blur, I do remember getting my hooks and taking his back before he shucked me off and gained side control, whereupon I attempted to bridge out.  While that specific attempt failed, I wasn’t far from making it work.  Then our time was up, the match ended.

Round 2 winner: Draw
Points: 4 to 1

At this point I had seen a previous division finish with one draw and one win.  Apparently the third match is required if there has only been one victory.  So we shook hands again and battle once more.  I shot in again, transition to side control, took his back, he escaped into my guard and during his attempt to pass I slapped on a triangle and locked it up.  Normally I prefer to have my right leg to control their upper body behind their neck, but in this case it was my left leg.  Not quite as confident with myself, I didn’t want to risk a quick unlock to better position myself for a tighter triangle, so I fell back on the old trick of pulling their head down to further compress arteries and airways.  It worked, though I was a tiny bit disappointed in having to resort to that.

Round 3 winner: Kiyoshi
Points: 4 to 4 (tie)

This is where the tie breaker with unlimited time comes in.  I have seen teammates stuck in a 90-minute match, unable to secure a submission for the win, and I vowed not to be in those shoes.  It would be a fast and decisive finish.  And it was, but not for me.  I don’t know why I didn’t shoot in again, but Brendan managed a shoulder throw.  I have been on the receiving end of this throw before, and 5o% of the time I manage to take their back instead of being truly taken down.  In this particular case, I was close to securing the back, but he managed to pull me that last little bit and gain top side control and keylock me.

Round 4 winner: Brendan
Points: 7 to 4

1st place: Brendan
2nd place: Kiyoshi

We chatted after receiving our medals, about judo, wrestling, and being able to stop certain attempts.  I admitted that I had specific training on what to do if my shot was stuffed, which was what allowed me to take him down.  He admitted that he had barely trained his sprawls and had concentrated more on what to do when an opponent pulled guard.

Overall I am happy with my performance, and I have a few things I can tune up for my next tournament (which is at the end of the month in Penticton).  I am also very happy to have travelled across the border for this one, and I look forward to getting more experience and tournaments under my belt south of the border.  I also look forward to finding out if the promotion will post the videos of the matches anywhere, they had a dedicated video camera and operator at each match.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

And now the results

On Saturday July 20th, I competed in the CBJJF’s Okanagan Summer Classic held in Kelowna, B.C.  alongside my cousin Mike’s team: RDC Jiu-Jitsu.  This was my second tournament in the Okanagan – having competed previously in the Okanagan Winter Classic in February – and my first tournament as a blue belt.  I had pre-registered with the CBJJF as a white belt, but my promotion a week before the tournament prompted the registration change.  No sandbagging from me, a blue belt is a blue belt, no matter what.

I picked up my girlfriend after work on the way out, and she made some awesome breakfast-style wraps to eat on the road.  She makes a great co-pilot, as well as a great conversationalist.

The most joyful thing about being a blue belt: getting to be among the first division up to compete in CBJJF tournaments.  I had my division called up around 9:30A.M., quite a treat after typically waiting until 12:30P.M.  I won my only match 4 points to his 2 advantages: 2 for a sweep from half-guard, and 2 from a takedown.  His advantages came from a takedown attempt and a sweep attempt.  We were supposed to have six other people in our division, but they either showed up late or not at all.

CBJJF Okanagan Summer Classic Gold Medal

Ogopogo Gold

I competed in the Absolute Open as well, but lost first round via modified Bow’N’Arrow choke.

I waited around for my cousin Mike to compete, and then was roped into the No-Gi division courtesy of Mike and his coach Sterling Redlack.  When it came to calling the weight classes, they called every class BUT Middleweight.  It would have been faster to call it like that instead of listing off over half a dozen weight classes.

After finally getting called up, I would lose first round via points.  Spending over a year training solely in Gi doesn’t truly prepare you for No-Gi, with the lack of grips and the extra slipperiness from sweat and no Gi to soak it up.  I knew what I was in for however, and agreed to compete.  I definitely learned from that match.  Despite the loss, I tied for third.

20130720_154700

Overall, my best tournament performance, even if I was short on submissions.  I’m happy to say that my medals have earned me points that will go towards being invited to an invite-only tournament at some point.  Hooray!

Brogopogos–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”Your #1 Canadian eh?