Before competition, I felt great physically and mentally. I felt calm and confident for this tournament. I would never enter any competition unless I felt that I could win 1st place. This competition, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship, was a different experience.
I'm used to competing at small local tournaments back home on Oahu. Normally, at the local tournaments there are only a couple of competitors in my division. This means a guaranteed spot on the podium. With that being said, the Pan American was definitely a challenge. It's usually 3-4 fights before the semifinals and sometimes your total matches can be up to 7 matches. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I can't wait to compete in it again.
To get my mind ready for competitions I make sure to focus on my progression in the gym. I always keep an open mind and a positive attitude. Having a good mindset and no ego is key on and off the tatami. For example, when I'm tired and someone fresh comes into the gym to train I try to get a roll or two with him/her. Win or lose it doesn't matter. This is your time to become better than you were yesterday.
If you make a mistake don't think it's because they're better than you. Look at what you did wrong. Correct your mistakes and try again.
I didn't win the Pan American this year, but I'll train to become better everyday so I'm ready for the next tournament. One day, I'll be World Champion. Today I learned more about the techniques that I was executing.
What to do and what not to do.
I attempted one of my favorite positions the ankle lock from 50/50. Didn't get it this time so what I will do to fix it is watch instructional videos on the position.
Study, drill, and execute.
The Pan American Championships were a surreal experience because I got to compete against the best in a different environment. I love traveling and meeting new people to test my skills as a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Although I lost I'll be back. This loss is only motivation to continue to get better and reach my aspirations of being a World Champion while living the jiujitsu lifestyle.
The next step now is to continue train and work until I can move this summer to continue my Jiu-Jitsu journey in Vegas.