So a couple of Saturday’s ago myself and 3 other guys from my gym went travelled the 3&1/2 hour journey from Dundee to participate in the Newcastle Open.
The guys that travelled were Paul, Scott(both white belts), Lewis(blue) and myself(purple). For a couple of the guys it was their first grappling competition and to be fair the Newcastle open is a tough one to start with! Guys travel from all over Scotland and the north of England so most of the divisions were stacked!
As you know we are part of the Origin Jiu Jitsu family headed by British BJJ pioneer Marc Walder. Being in Newcastle we have 2 Branches of the team there one headed by Speedy Elliott(my coach) the other be Ian Malone(Speedy’s black belt). Speedy couldn’t make it that day but his son Tyrone(brown belt of the highest order) came to support the Dundee contingent and corner our matches.
First up was Paul, white belt, adult, -88kg. Paul has a background in Taekwondo and has been doing Jiu Jitsu for a little over a year I think, long enough to merit 3 stripes on his belt. This was Paul’s first BJJ comp and he was really nervous, he didn’t show it but it took him around 6 attempts to tie his belt before stepping on the matts. Paul had 2 matches both of them went the same way where as Paul started off ok but then got caught in mount and couldn’t escape. Good news was with the way the bracket turned out he ended up with a bronze medal! There is no losing in Jiu Jitsu only learning and Paul will come back better than ever!
Next up was Scott. Now Scott may be a white belt with 2 stripes but he has been grappling for a number of years no gi and has fought amateur MMA. He was weighing in at just under 100kg but there was know one in his weight or age category so he got put in with the younger ULTRA heavy section! Scott’s first opponent was big… No he was fucken HUGE! So much so we gave him the nickname of ‘The Mountain’. His belt tied around his waist once and just tied at the front, he was at least 160kg!! It was fun watching the two of ear guys try and wrestle each other to the ground until The Mountain tried to jump guard! Needless to say he failed and once Scott was on top then it was game over as he racked up the points. I can’t remember how many matches in total that Scott had as I was still in shock of The Mountain but he went through them all to win gold! Not bad for a guy that had no fight camp and hardly train over the past year.
Scott also entered then no gi advanced where there was only one other guy in his category, a purple belt that had received this belt around 7 years ago so had a load of experience. Scott did well, almost tapping him with a gogoplata but ended up getting arm barred(I think). This was a great match to watch.
Lewis the blue belt was next, 74kg of pure elastic and a guard near impossible to pass. His gi match basically went all the same way with him taking a high guard and triangling everyone whether they had both arms in or not! Result Gold
His no gi matches were hot and cold, he lost his first match and won his second, thinking his category was finished he went and showered then came back all relaxed only to be called up again, without thinking he changed and got on the matts with what seemed like a much larger opponent to fight for bronze, unfortunately loosing his match.
Up next… Me! 38 years old, 76kg purple belt. This was my first comp as a purple belt and there wasn’t any opponents so I went in with the young ones. Now this is short and sweet and laughable to be honest… I got a bye to the semi finals as there was an odd number. My opponent hurt his neck in his previous match and couldn’t continue so guess what?? Yeah that’s right I got another bye straight into the final!! In the final I got whooped by a younger faster more explosive opponent, I tried an arm drag and failed, I then went for a collar grab to shin on shin… I fucked it up and he passed my guard to the side but I escape to half guard quickly, we tussled there for a bit then somehow he got my back and now and arrow choked me but hey I just won silver! Hahahahaha! I told you it was laughable 😃
Love and Respect