Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tough Times!

I've tried to write this entry several times, but figured I'd wait until I'd finished competing in a series of three tournaments. I competed at the Abu Dhabi Trials in NYC, the IBJJF NY Open, and the Big Apple Open.  I lost my first match in all of these tournaments.  The first I lost by an advantage, I lost by referee decision at the NY Open, and lost by submission at the Big Apple Open.

Needless to say, it's disheartening in some ways and enlightening in others.  Naturally, no one likes losing.  I don't care how well you take it, no one comes off the mat with a smile on their face. I'll be the first to say that I don't take losses well initially.  I'm fine when I am on the mat, but prefer to be alone once I leave the mat for a little while.  Quite honestly, if I could, I'd drill what I did poorly on right after I lose.  Of course that isn't really feasible, but after each tournament I try and go to open mat the next day to drill what I need to work on.

What made me upset was that I made the same mistake in the past four tournaments I've competed in.  I won't go into deep details, but it's something I need to work, it's something I've tried to work on, but I simply haven't been able to execute it yet.  Given that, I think it may have been a mistake to have competed in the NY Open and Big Apple Open if I knew that I hadn't really fixed that part of my game yet. 

Since Saturday, I've been refocusing; this is the enlightening part.  I'm a slow learner; it takes me a while to get a concept and apply it, whether it's school or jiu jitsu.  I'm now trying to apply some of the same concepts I used in school to help me understand movements and positioning in jiu jitsu, and even though it's only been a day or two, I think these methods are working well.  If I can break down each position into a set of smaller steps, then it's much easier for me to understand.  It's important to keep those smaller steps in mind while rolling for me so that I don't miss any details.  Prior to this, I think I was drilling somewhat mindlessly; I did the same moves over and over but didn't absorb the concepts or details.

I've decided not to compete again until I feel like I've really made strides in my weaknesses.  I'm hoping to use this summer as a time to focus on improving my weaknesses; during competition time, I often focus on how to implement my strengths and gameplan, but not so much on overall improvement.