* Due to some slight computer issues videos and pics are missing from this weeks blog – this will be resolved soon….. I hope
Everything was going to plan competing at Copa Alfabarra as I had made it into the final. The match began, I pulled guard, swept from deep half and attained side control. I ended up back in deep half but I’m 5-0 up with 90 secs left, I could have ridden the bad boy out to the gold. BUT I decided in the spirit of an interesting fight, I’d sweep again. As I came up on top, I put my foot ON his hip, his team (a large & influential Jiu-Jitsu organisation which shall remain nameless) begin screaming at the ref. The ref then DQs me for reaping the knee. Decide for yourself based on the video. Then the dude that I had been soundly beating proceeded to jump up and celebrate like he’d won the mundials, this nearly pushed me over the edge and dude nearly got a mandatory dick slap. At this point I had to have a little breath, before I managed to maintain enough composure to shake hands with both my opponent and ref as I didn’t want to look like a penis hole myself. I mean silver is all good but the verdict is I’d been gringoed!
The following day our academy had a special guest instructor for the evening session, none other than ‘The General’ himself Fabio Gurgel, what an awesome privilege to train and meet one of the original founders of Alliance. The problem was I wasn’t actually there. In my infinite wisdom I had decided because I’d competed the day before, I would take a day off the hazardous bus travel and do a bit of training at the gaff. So instead of picking the mind of four-time world champion and one of the most renowned teachers of all time I rolled with a blue belt from Grimsby!
Based on the now infamous Barra screw job I was hella determined to win the Copa America when I competed again a couple of weeks later. I trained so hard for this badboy putting in 2 sessions of rolling and a drill session everyday, taking private classes and really working on my passing. The comp itself was the usual crazyness, hundreds of Brazilians screaming at the top of their lungs, arguing every decision, multitudes of chemically enhanced male bodies and the ‘BOA’ used more than any other word in the history of speech. It was a long ass day which was livened up quite nicely by a violent incident which broke out in the stands. Where our team were situated on one side, we could see the opposite stand split into what appeared to be two warring factions. I’m thinking‘wow this is some old school team versus team business’ maybe GF team were putting the beat down on Nova Uniao or Gracie Barra and Alliance were settling some old scores. The whole tournament literally stopped for this, what become clear very quickly, it was some chick and her dude having some sort of domestic incident. The chick didn’t look like she wanted to put the gentle art into practice that’s for sure, she looked ready to unleash all kinds of hell on homeboy!
I finally stepped on the mats around 7PM – I was feeling good and I had the entirety of the FT team supporting me including Professor Terere. It started according to plan; guard pull, sweep from deep half, then something didn’t feel right and I was being choked! I’d managed to ignore the fact he had got his grips, rather than deal with this first, I’m thinking ‘DEEP HALF SWEEP SON!’. I’ve been submitted in comps before but this one sucked soooooo bad. I felt like a young Gordon Bombay missing his triple deke in front of Coach Reilly. I was genuinely upset, losing was one thing but doing it in that fashion infront of someone you look up to as a rolemodel was very difficult. After mopping around a little bit, Terere came and dropped some Jedi Master knowledge on me. Amongst other things he explained that whether you are in your own academy or in competition everyday on the mats is learning, he was right I seriously learnt a lesson that day! His words did help me reconcile with the situation. Live by deep half then die by that biatch, I guess.
Fortunately there is some happiness to my tales of absolute despair. I attended a seminar held by Professor Terere, we looked at some super serious grip details when passing the guard and taking the back. After the seminar Terere gave a little speech prior to presenting someone with a stripe. The more he spoke, I’m thinking could he be talking about me? Then he pulled me out to the front, so it turned out he was. I’ve been a blue belt for 26 months completely stripless, I thought they didn’t really matter and wouldn’t impact on my game or progression. BUT getting one from Fernando Terere was a different thing, a stripe from Terere was straight up gangsta shit! He made it clear that I was one of his students, which was super cool, I’m not just another pale-ass dude passing through his gym!