I'm what you call a 'white' black belt. Which means in the totality of strangulation and joint shredding experts, I'm towards the rock bottom. So after dedicating myself to the study of BJJ for 7+ years, in essence, I have to start all over. Instead of hitting cruise control, I must learn to swim with the sharks. I have now gained the privilege to compete against the top-of-the food chain 'gentle art' killers of the world.
FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC! This is what I signed up for. Combat Sports is one of the few modern day activities to offer controlled adversity for the purpose of fine tuning the soul. To push your physical and emotional limits. To force you, whether you're ready or not, to become a better version of yourself. Because if you don't put in the work and sacrifice, you get exposed and humiliated on the big stage. And unlike team sports, there is no one else to blame.
OK, so quick summary of my first major tourny as a BB, the Sports JJ Worlds. I got my first BB submission. A shoulder contorting North-South Kimura. Which is actually very appropriate, considering I finished 70% of my submissions as a white belt with that move. I make it to the final match for the Gold. And I'm matched up with a bigger, stronger, younger, 2-stripe Brazilian guerrilla from Ribeiro academy. The uneven odds, don't phase me, because i suffer from high self-esteem. Well at least when I compete, not so much in the real world. hah. So long story short, I pressure hard for the first minute and have trouble passing his guard. I stand-up to break open his full guard, and he expertly ties up my right leg and hips in with all the force of his thunder hips. My weathered hamstring decides to bail on me when I need it most. POP! I yell out "FOOKK!" as i crash to the mat and he racks up some points. I indulge a couple secs of self-pity, but that is quickly extinguished as I fight off a solid cross choke and armbar attempt. As usual I go out swinging regardless of the circumstance. I keep pressuring & he gasses in the final min. The point damage is done, and the match ends. I win silver and at least a month of rehab. Great experience! I can't wait until next year. Hamstrings will be ready!