As the saying goes, some times you're the nail and sometimes your're the hammer; following on from analysing my three losses at the Hereford Open, I was fortunate enough to be the hammer on two occasions, so here they are in all their glory :)
Fight 3 - coming off two straight losses, I could have gone in two directions, crash out and take three losses on the trot or save face and take the last match and bag the bronze. I faced another Alliance member, Guy Farley, who by sheer coincidence shares the same age and birthday as me (we found this out after the match) and the start of the match Guy took a left handed grip on my lapel, which threw me a little, as I wanted to pull open guard the usual way. He attacked with an ouch gari and dragged me about a bit and I managed to sit down and pull open guard, which he defended and I switched to my old faithful friend, the scissor sweep and managed to score an advantage and we both got back to our feet.
Guy still had the left hand grip and went for another ouchi gari and I pulled open guard and Guy was still satnding but in a crouched position; I placed my other foot on his hip and swept him over my head and landed in mount position, but didn't stay there long enough for the points as Guy started to turn to his side to shrimp out of position. I managed to stay on him, pin his arm and get into S-mount and from there I got the arm and the submission.
Fight 4 - This was my first match in the Absolute and I faced Combat Academy member Pat Baker; the fight started with me pulling open guard and Pat defending and I scored quick with a scissor sweep and landed in knee on belly position, but then Pat quickly put me in half guard. From there I switched base and in all the excitement I attempted a submission on Pat's left arm, but I wasn't really in the best position and Pat managed to defend the attack.
I stood up and tried to pass his guard with a knee over thigh pass and then I found myself in his half guard again and on the receiving end of a very tight Lockdown, which was on TIGHT and I had a lot of trouble trying to get out of it.
In a way this helped me out as I was secured to his body and I went for a kimura submission, but didn't have it locked on tight enough and you can see the arm high in the air (1:57). I kept hold of the arm and carried on looking for the submission and again, at 2:13 you can see the arm too high in the air and Pat slipped the arm from my grip.
I quickly switched base and still in half guard, I caught the arm again and this time I made sure I kept the arm down on the ground and got the tap out I was looking for.
Five fights in total and I walked off with a bronze in my weight group and silver in the Absolute and more importantly, made new friends through competing, always a bonus.
* Pulling open guard wasn't the best I've ever done on some of the fights
* Pulling half guard in fight 1 was apalling and I paid the price
* Didn't get much chance to pass guard
* Pulled off the old school scissor sweep :) I was first taught this in my Trad JJ days and have been using it ever since and is one of my favourite moves. It's worked for me in gi and no gi comps through all belts and in my last no gi comp in Thailand earlier this year.
* Pulled off one of my favourite subs, the kimura
* Got too excited in the heat of battle and rushed to get the kimura
* POSITION BEFORE SUBMISSION! Second time around for the kimura, I was in a better position and left the arm on the floor and got the tap out
* My cardio/endurance was greatly improved; had a tough first fight, losing with 30 seconds on the clock and managed to go on for a further four fights. The training in Thailand helped me with my cardio and I was very pleased about this and it's given me a lot more confidence for when I next compete.
With all this in mind there is only one thing left to do - TRAIN MORE!
No secret about it to be honest, the key to improvement is to keep on training. Keep on hitting mats and drilling out. More specifics. More rolling. More competing.
It's not rocket science really is it?
Analysing all my matches has shown me how much more I need to learn about the basics and things I have been training week in week out; make all the moves, transitions, passes, subs etc that little bit tighter and a little more polished. So with that in mind it's back to the mats and train, train, train!