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