Woke up this morning and the team gathered form some Portuguese breakfast at the hotel, which is like ours, French Toast, Eggs, Bacon and some pork sausages. I did not eat much being that my stomach was still kind of upset. Next we took a cab to the tournament. You have to watch out for the cab drivers they definitely will take advantage of tourists.
Portugal is a beautiful port just reminded me of the downtown old Ellicott city, if you have not been there go check it out to get a taste of Portugal. The venue was just like the rest of the IBJJF tournaments they areas are separated from spectators and the competitors that way its not easy to be coached unless you are close to the side where fans are. It throws you off because you are used to being coached at all the local tournaments but here you are kind of alone which makes it even more nerve racking and stressful.
IBJJF tournaments usually for the most part run on time, but like most of the large organized sporting events they sometimes run off schedule. I was scheduled to fight at 12:10 but did not fight until 45 minutes later. So the wait really gets at you and you find yourself with extra time on your hands, like extra time to talk to your competitors. This guy walks up to me and is like are you Alfonso? I’m like how did he know that, I was wearing my Rugby jersey with my last name on it, and he put 2 and 2 together. For the most part everyone there is nice and is there to have a good time but all that changes when you fight or at least it should.
Fight time they call my name and measure my Gi to make sure it is at the right length and nothing is hanging off or anything is illegal. Literally when they call your name, no time to wait, you walk on the mat and you fight. I started the match I felt great and my game plan went out the door somewhat and so with that so did my time to execute anything. I started off running around the guy and before that shaking hands. We have 5 minutes and that starts when the Ref says “Koboch” or go. 10 seconds with the shaking hands wasted, another 20 running around, 2 minutes grip fighting while standing up, tick tock tick tock, and then you pull guard and you have 1 minute left in the match, and by the time you get back up to your feet time is ended. The score was zero / zero. At this point it is the Refs decision as their are no advantages. The match was given to my opponent who went on to take third and I was left standing in shock, mainly because it felt like I was fighting for 2 minutes, but time was ticking against me the whole time and wasting away.
Lessons learned, don’t waste anytime doing things that waste time. Get straight to business and execute as much as you can and show dominance over your opponent so that if this ever happens there is no doubt who won the match. I am disenchanted by today’s experience but grateful for the experience gained which will always make you a better person down the road.