FREEROLL had the opportunity to interview CJJF Brown Belt and avid competitor Will Torres about his last competition as a Purple Belt, the San Jose Open. Enjoy and connect with Will Torres on Instagram - @willtorres.spn. Oss!
I'm always anxious and excited to compete getting closer to the tournament. I'm never really nervous in the bull-pen or in the actual match. There are nerves but it doesn't affect me as much as when I was a white and blue belt.
I think this is will be my fourth or fifth tournament this year. It's tough to compete consistently in Hawaii, because we don't get that many tournaments a year and flying out to tournaments on the mainland has to be well planned. Regardless, I love competing and I'm always happy to compete locally or flying out to compete. Flying out gives me an excuse to visit new places, see new things, and meet different people.
It's not different, I place the same amount of importance in every tournament I compete in. Competing is something that I do when I can and I try to take every opportunity that is presented to me. I always prepare the same way and work on some minor things that I missed or that I noticed at my last competition or what my professor points out to me while watching me in training.
Competition Mind Prep
A big part of competing and getting results that you want is believing in yourself. Believing that you did everything within your power to prepare and believing that you can implement your game or strategy in your matches. I always tell myself that leading up to and on the day of the tournament. Even if the results aren't what you wanted, it's still an important aspect of competing to realize and recognize. If you're happy, at the end of the day, with your performance that's the most important thing. Win or lose I'm always looking to improve and get better, so the results don't weigh that heavily like it did in the past.
I was more focused on countering instead of taking my opponent down right off the bat and he was capitalizing on that. He had a strong de la riva which I was shutting down well when he tried to sweep me. I don't remember much about the end because he got a straight ankle lock pretty quick and he twisted my ankle at a weird ankle which caused it to pop.
It was pretty disappointing to say the least. I really wanted to compete in my second match, as well as the absolute, but I couldn't put any weight on my foot. There was literally a baseball-size welt on my ankle. For me, injuries are worse than losing. Overall, I'm happy with my preparation for this tournament. It's unfortunate that I got injured but it's a part of the game.
My next step is to recover my ankle. I will still teach my kids class at the academy and help with the adults class. If my ankle is good to go in a couple weeks I'll start sparring and looking for my next tournament that I'll compete in.
Lastly, I want to thank Professor Caveirinha and CJJF for all the training and preparation we did for this tournament, especially the people who did competition rounds with me. Additionally, thank you to my sponsors Amaguin Law and Kekoa Collective for their continued belief and support in me.