Shiai

Competed in the tournament yesterday, and it went really well. My division was three men, and they ran single elimination – so I got two matches.

I’m actually prouder of the match that I lost. This was the first one, against a young brown belt – a bit smaller than me. We went back and forth without much incident for about 3 and a half minutes out of the four minute match. He caught me early on with something or other for a small point – and we went briefly to the ground. Thought I might get him to tap on a choke (a friend in the crowd was shouting “it’s under his chin, PULL” but to no avail), but it didn’t happen. With 30 seconds remaining, down on points, I went for it and attacked continually. He took that as an opportunity to toss me with a beautiful, high shoulder throw. It was one of those ones where the room goes silent and everybody is like “ooo,” while one guy sails over the head of the other. Apparently I tucked and rolled like a champ – and I got complemented by several people on doing “good judo.”

The second match was against a blue belt, much younger than me and probably 20 pounds lighter. We went maybe 2 minutes before I caught him twice in a row with the same throw (tai-otoshi). Honestly, even though I won that one, I thought that my first match was better played. I didn’t have the leverage or position to make the throw work really well – I was just bigger and stronger than him and so I made it work.

Perhaps more important, while I was sore afterwards – both my knee and my shoulder held up well.

I’m BACK!

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