I am fucking knackered. So very tired.
I’m not long home from a day down in Newcastle. As I sit writing this, I’m listening to Audioslave because I haven’t listened to them in bloody ages, and it just feels right.
Today was Speedy’s bi-annual inter-club competition. It’s a chance to compete against your fellow team mates from across the land. Speedy has spread his knowledge far and wide, and these days allows us all to meet up, and kick the absolute shite out of one another.
I went to the last one in May, and somehow managed to come 1st in my category. This time however, I didn’t fare so well. There were four of us in category, and I faced the guy I beat in the final back in May, first. He’s a tall guy called Phil. His style is still awkward, probably even more so now but for the most part it was a good fight. I defended well against most of his submission attempts (I think), and continually worked my own attempts. After a while though, he caught me in mount and managed to sink in an Ezekiel choke. Blast. I knew immediately where I’d gone wrong. I wasn’t aggressive enough. I dwelled on the loss for a minute or two and then focused on going for bronze.
So, I stepped on the mat ready to face Shaun – a guy I’d again met earlier in the year, and scraped by with a decision win. This time though, I was out for blood. I wanted to prove to myself that I hadn’t come 180 miles to be put out as quickly as I was. We faced each other, shook hands/bumped fists/discussed embroidery etc. and now it was time to go to war. He tried a few trips to no avail and then pulled guard. I didn’t really entertain the idea of a guard, and passed straight into side. I faux-attempted a loose keylock to see if I could coax him into giving me his back, and when he did I jumped on a bow & arrow choke variation. I didn’t grab the pant leg, because I knew it was already tight enough for the tap. It’s a move I LOVE doing. I sat and waited. He tapped. For a few seconds I felt like king of the world, I’d bettered myself. Improved upon my mistakes earlier in the day. I was aggressive, and I seized an opportunity.
Fresh faced, I signed up for the absolute (open weight). Whilst waiting, I kept time for one of my friend’s fights, and used that opportunity to spy who I’d be fighting in the open weight. The infamous Captain Redbeard. The strongest man alive. My fight with him barely lasted 30 seconds. He tried a few shoves, a few trips but they didn’t phase me – and then out of nowhere he pulled a rolling fucking kneebar. 100 kilos of rolling agility. I fucking shat myself, and duely tapped when the kneebar was applied. Luckily the man’s a gentleman, so didn’t throw it on like Palhares, otherwise I’d still be in tears. He knew he had it, I knew he had it – tapping was the only thing I could sensibly do.
From Dundee six of us went down to Newcastle today. If there were medals, we all would have gotten a medal and that’s bloody incredible. It’s at this point I’d like to talk about my team mates. Grant won his/my division, tapping out both of his opponents (Phil & Shaun). Paul P lost his fight against a hearty bearded man called Ben, but that was the only guy in his division. He was suitably pissed off, but I talked him into doing the blue belt absolute. He came second in the absolute, like a fucking rockstar. Paul C came third in his division, and then went on to win the white belt absolute, like a straight up fucking hustler (I didn’t want to use rockstar twice). Sloany came 2nd in his division, the over 90kilo division. There wasn’t a person he fought that wasn’t an absolute fucking beast, and he handled it like a champ. And then there’s Scott. Today’s star pupil. Scott only had one fight in his division, which he sailed through. Antsy to fight again, he took on the blue belt absolute and sailed all the way to the finish. I have never seen such a tiny man, manhandle giants like he does. He’s a fucking pirate. A small mustachioed pirate, here to steal your gold. Or as it were, his gold. Amazing.
It was an incredible, talent rich day with the added spectacle of watching Speedy (black belt) and Dom (brown belt) put on an exhibition match. It’s great to take a step back and just watch at this point. The realisation is that if you stick at this wild sport of limb destruction/asphyxiation for long enough, you’re going to be that good. They’ll just be a hell of a lot better by then!
The day wrapped up with some gradings. Too many to list in fact, so I’ll just cover the Dundee six. I’d like to congratulate all who received a grading though, as the talent pool is clearly incredibly deep.
Paul C received a stripe on his white belt.Sloany received his 2nd stripe on his blue belt.
Paul P received his 3rd and 4th stripe on his blue belt.
Grant receieved his 4th sripe on his blue belt.
Scott received his purple belt.
I received my purple belt.
A great effort by all, but wait a fucking second there. I received my bloody purple belt. How did that happen? I am now officially The Worst Purple Belt in the World – But by god I’m fucking proud of it. This was next year’s goal, and it happened today. Thanks new moon (astrology bollocks). So now I have to knuckle down, and prove that I deserve to have this tied around my waist.
What a day. Time to chill. Goodbye.