Crazy 88 survived the treacherous drive through the country hills of New Jersey and arrived rested, focused and ready to compete at the Wildwood Convention Center located literally on the beach front.
Our white belts performed valiantly gaining valuable experience, making mistakes, dealing with the infamous NAGA refereeing, and executing techniques that we have been drilling in the competition and intermediate classes. Be sure to congratulate our fellow teammates Jay Mosko, Jammie Whitfield, Michael Kellogg, and Josh Dean for traveling to test themselves against competition outside of the room and inching their way closer to the next belt.
Jammie and Kellogg owned the < 180 lb master’s division. Jaime executed a nice double drop seio nage with a little muscle in the semi-finals, a throw that we have been working on feverishly, and kimura’d his second opponent cruising to the Gold medal. Kellogg had a tough battle in the semi-finals but redeemed himself in the Bronze medal match, applying Mike Atkin-like top pressure and ezekielle finishing his opponent from the top of half guard. They then hopped in the car and drove from Wildwood, New Jersey to Winchester, Virginia to support Al and Jon in their MMA bouts.
Josh Dean was as aggressive as advertised working hard in and pushing the pace in his two matches. Josh came up on the wrong end of a scoring error that ended his day prematurely. As all of us do, Josh learned the Master Lloyd mantra that you never leave the match in the referee’s hands, you must work hard and intelligently to finish every opponent. Lesson learned, you must progress the position to create the opportunity for submission.
Larissa “Hamburguer” Zwanenburg‘s performance was nothing short of epic. She was focused, determined and executed her game plan in every match with surgeon’s precision. Mind you, Larissa had three matches, three submissions and was on the mat for a little over 3 minutes when it could have been 12 total. Her coach expected deliberate useful grips, getting to her position quickly and staying busy the entire match with the only acceptable end to a match being a submission. Larissa obliged getting to her spot in every match within seconds and finishing each opponent with an arm bar, gi choke combination. I recommend all of our girls work with and study the Rachel Demara Closed Guard system that Larissa employs. It is proven to work from NAGA New Jersey, to Brazil, Internationally and at the Worlds.
Chris Tran AKA Short Round competed again in the adult blue belt rooster division yielding 20 lbs to all competitors that wrapped their waste with a rooster blue belt. Chris is only a green belt under Master Julius Park and continues to excel in adult blue belt divisions underweight and youthful but seasoned and spry. Chris defeated his first opponent 9-0 in a rout in which he swept, passed, back mounted and submission transitioned from banarra chokes and arm locks to control and cruise to a victory. The division was flooded with Lloyd Irvin teenagers so by the draw of a short straw Chris fought in the bronze medal match. This opponent proved tougher and more aggressive but could not withstand or pass Chris’ intricate open guard. Chris swept to score the 2 and that is how the match ended. Team Lloyd Irvin comprised of 2 green belts and a yellow belt closed out the adult rooster blue belt division. The future is looking bright for America’s best grassroots Jiu Jitsu team.
Our final competitor of the day was Allie Welch AKA Malibu in her debut at female rooster blue belt. Allie, as well, executed her game plan gripping with exponentially more confidence than she had as a white belt and getting to her spot quickly and efficiently. Allie worked hard from her spot, retaining her guard and staying busy attempting submissions the entire 5 minutes match. Allie came up on the short end of a controversial scoring enigma in which in my eyes will be a 2 advs-1 win for Allie. The referee awarded the opponent a 0-0 ref’s decision and ended the day.
In summary the lessons learned in competition will grow your game at an accelerated rate in comparison to methodical gains made in the training room. I challenge everyone to get out there and put your skill set to the test. The goal is to grow those front lines in the class. It will not be easy though. Progression and promotion is not given but earned. Keep grinding, be patient! Oussssss!