I enjoyed it very much and I also realised exactly how much work I had to do on my fitness, let alone my Judo!I had 3 fights and they were all tough. During my 3rd (last) fight I was absolutely spent. I had no power and I had to dig very deep. I was spotting openings/opportunities, but I just couldn't capitalise. My brain was telling my body what to do, but my body just went: "Sorry mate, I'm having a rest, maybe later". I really need to work on that.
The weigh-in started at 9am, after which the mats were opened up for warm-ups. I was also joined by two other people from my club, so we warmed up together. Out of the three of us, it was only Sean (who received his 4th Kyu a week before) who had any experience of competition, so he explained the procedures to me and Craig.
After the warm ups, the first groups were called out, which included me! Not only that, but I was to fight first! I was an absolute ball of nerves. I told myself to just think of it as randori, but it wasn't...
Fight 1My opponent was a bit taller than me and very strong, so right from the start I had trouble breaking his balance. It was a tough fight. We both attempted some sweeps and throws, but nothing worked, for either of us. About halfway through the fight, I got a Shido for blocking attacks. I accepted it, but I was also disappointed, as my opponent was doing exactly the same. He attempted another throw, which didn't work, but we did end up on the ground. However, he could not do anything, so we were stood up again. And so the fight came to an end. I lost because of the penalty. Thinking about it afterwards, I was very annoyed with myself, because I wasn't really 'beaten'. It was just the penalty I received. But I couldn't sit and sulk about it, as I had to fight again soon.
Fight 2Again, my opponent was even taller than the first one. I felt like a little kid! This time, my nerves had settled a bit and my head was a bit clearer. I threw him with what could only be explained as an attempted Morote Seoi Nage, because it was really ugly! However, I ended up on top of him and held him with Mune Gatame. I only managed about 10 seconds, before he trapped my leg. I then moved on to try and apply Ude Garami, but just as I grabbed hold of his arm, the ref called Matte. I still don't know why, because I was right in the middle of attempting it. Back on the feet, we were exchanging some sweep attempts and I ended up almost next to him with his arm across my chest, perfect for Osoto Gari. As soon as I spotted the opportunity I just raked his leg as hard as I could. It worked! I ended up on my knees as well, but he landed flat on his back. My first win and it was an ippon! After we bowed, we shook hands and he said that that was a nice throw. I really appreciated his compliment. But as soon as I stepped of the mat, I realised exactly how tired I was. I was dreading the next fight, but at least it would be the last one.
Fight 3This time, my opponent was roughly the same size as me. He wasn't particularly strong and he kept giving me openings, but, as I said in the beginning, by that time I just didn't have anything left in the tank. I attempted a couple of throws, Ippon Seoi Nage, Morote Seoi Nage and Harai Goshi to be exact, but I just couldn't do it. I did get a Wazari for one of them though. None of his attempts worked and we ended up on the ground (with me on top) quite a few times. On one occasion I attempted an armbar, but I completely made a hash of it, so it didn't work. The 3 minutes were up and I was declared the winner, as I scored the Wazari. But if I'm honest, I didn't really care, as I just wanted to get off the mat and get my breath back! I was happy with the win though.
So that was all my fights. I lost 1 and won 2. That meant that I got a silver medal!
If I think back about it, that Shido in the first fight will probably haunt me for a very long time, as that was the only difference between silver and gold on the day. But I'm still very happy overall. If I was told that I would get silver before the competition I would have taken it in a heartbeat! Also, it was a good day for my club, as Sean got silver as well and Craig got bronze. So it was 3 medals out of 3 for us!
My wife was very kind and recorded all my fights, so I will look back and see exactly what I did wrong and what I need to work on, other than fitness!!
I also have grading coming up soon, so there will be no rest!