Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend in NYC/Competing at the IBJJF Open

My first time officially staying in NYC was certainly a blast! I've only been in the city once before and it was to just to train at Ronin Athletics (Ryan's first BJJ school) and Alliance (to train with Marcelo Garcia) but that was a year and a half ago. And basically we drove in, trained at one school during the day, had dinner, trained at the other school, then left the city. So I wouldn't say that I got to see much (other than inside the BJJ schools, lol).

Anyway, so Ry and I drove up Friday afternoon after class (it took forever because traffic was awful through DC and Maryland). We arrived at the Embassy Suites off Exit 16 of the Jersey Turnpike and promptly headed to the hot tub while we waited for Seph and Karen to arrive. The absolute best part about the Embassy Suites (besides the hot tub) is that they have the most amazing continental breakfast in existence (disclaimer: when cutting weight, it is not pleasant to go to breakfast with individual's who aren't). 

Saturday morning we headed over to the venue at what we thought was nice and early to catch Seph's fights... unfortunately, we missed his first match (btw since when does the IBJJF run exactly on time?) but thankfully we were there in plenty of time for his second one against Ronis Gracie.  

Ryan and I warmed up separately since we were supposed to compete at the same time. But luckily I ended up going first by a long shot so Ryan was able to coach me through both matches for the gold. Despite receiving the medal around my neck, I felt kind of slow during the matches, like I was working much harder than usual and not playing my game the way I'd been practicing, so I need to go through the video and try to figure out why. 

Other than what may be found on the video, I have two theories.  One of which I can change and one that was circumstances, but in all likelihood, it was a combination of both. First, that the stress from the job situation last week caught up with me and/or second, that I need to make sure I have a more BJJ targeted warm-up next time like I did for Pan Ams (where I felt much sharper than I did yesterday). 

Thanks to Eugene from GQ for holding my video camera for me during my matches! Huge congrats to Ryan and Seph who both did very well and to all our other friends who competed as well (especially Erik).

After the tournament we went (with the Ronin crew) out to an Italian style restaurant where the spaghetti and meatballs platter was enough to feed 8 people! Okay...well actually, we also shared a family size salad and a huge platter of Veal Parmigiana and one of Chicken Parmigiana as well. Needless to say, we were stuffed! But never ones to be defeated...we didn't allow the pressure on our pants' buttons to deter us from stopping in the candy store two shops down. ;)

After the candy store, we packed into Ryan's car and drove to a bar to catch up with the rest of Ronin Athletics and watch the UFC fights. After sharing Anderson Silva's frustration with opponents who are unwilling to engage in a fight, we were put up in a sweet two-bedroom apartment for the night (thanks Christian!) that we shared with Seph and Karen. Then this morning I gained the lovely experience of driving on NYC's highways after dropping Ryan at JFK this morning for him to fly out to video tape his next dvd series. And boy I can't WAIT to see the finished product!

Whew. What a weekend. :)

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