Next to a big seminar filled with old school and new school black belts (such as the upcoming seminar on September 10th), there's nothing like tournament day to, as teammate Jamie put it, combine competition and comraderie. Present as a spectactor rather than a participant (I'm retired, don't ya know?), it was still a lot of fun to watch, coach and cheer on my teammates (and a few strangers, probably) as they put it all on the line in Bonney Lake today.
As it turned out, there were no black belt matches. And among the brown belts, it was an "all-Oregon" crew of middleweight to battle out the four-fighter bracket. This made me feel a lot better about being about an hour late, getting there just in time to see some of our purple belts go at it. A lot of great matches, but it was especially nice to see Pete get a sweep to the top using one of the sweeps that I've seen him drill endlessly after training. I don't care how Pete feels about it. But he's my role model now.
Great to catch up with some folks like Griff, who I haven't talked to in awhile. His folks at Edmunds BJJ are coming along at a nice clip, with many stand-out performances on Saturday, which was good to hear. Speaking of BJJ up north, it was also nice to see Prof Andrew, who I pretty much only see at tournaments and seminars now that he's got his own school up and running in Everett.
Very inspiring day. Tournaments can have that effect of really galvanizing your spirit and making you feel that you are capable of things that you might have doubted in yourself even days previously. You see great effort, heart-breaking mistakes, and precise, practiced technique on display just about everywhere you look. And if that doesn't make you want to get your gi on, then I don't know what does.
A special shout out to my colleague from The Daily Planet, Cesar Alvarez, a geniune genius who had his first competition ever today. This kind of thing just warms the heart. It really does.
Working on a few more disclosure for the New (Training) Year resolution, in part based on what I saw and didn't see at the Revolution today. I'm also taking up Rene's suggestion that I get a few proteges to work with. Actually, it was Griff's suggestion many moons ago as well.
In any event, recruitment shall begin post-haste. We've already got our Gracie Barra Big Boys Crew kicking ass and taking names ("O Gracie Barrazao" - you know who you are). Maybe it's time for the rise of the "Gracie Barralinhos".