Tuesday, March 6, 2007

NAGA/Arnold's 2007 Re-cap (with video)

This year's Arnold's in Columbus, OH were by far and away the fastest and most well run Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament that I have ever been to. The tourny as whole ran at a remarkable speed with the coordination of Kipp, the announcers, the refs, the table officials and photographers running like a well oiled machine.

Unfortunately for me (and many others), the tournament ran perhaps a bit too fast. Following the guidance of Kipp Collar's post on the MMA.tv BJJ forums about the timeline of events (posted on this blog here), I nearly missed my first match. I woke up Saturday morning fully expecting to step on the mat around noon or so. I actually didn't doubt Kipp, and I believed him and his timeline. I was not arriving on "Brazilian Time" for my matches (which is typically 1hr or more later than U.S. times). Nope, I figured that showing up around 10:00 A.M. would give me plenty of time to get changed, tape up my broken parts and warm up. But Kipp, and the tourny were moving much faster than many of us expected. They apparently had the rules meeting at 8:30 A.M. (according to the timeline) but, I didn't go to it because it was stated that the tourny rules for the gi event were in accordance with the rules set forth by the CBJJ. As I know these rules, I, and many of the competitors opted to skip the rules meeting. In retrospect, we should've attended this meeting.

Within 15 minutes of walking in to the venue, I heard my name called to Ring #8. This means that the tourny was running about 1 hr and 45 min ahead of schedule at this time. I wasn't even suited up yet as I had been running around talking to team mates and friends that I haven't seen in a while. The same stuff we all do when we walk into a packed tournament - get your bearings, find a place to dump your gear, etc. After hearing "Last call for Jason Clarke at ring number eight," I dumped my bag out, grabbed my shorts and gi pants, and ducked behind the bleachers to strip down and change as fast as I could. My friend Matt went to the table to tell them that I would be right over. I came out from behind the bleachers, tossed on the rest of my uniform and stepped on the mat. It actually wasn't that fast. I had exactly 1 minute before my match started, so I tried my best to stretch and move my body parts to warm up. I have to admit, not being able to warm up beforehand played with my mind, especially as I was fighting with a recovering back injury that leaves me stiff and sore. But, this is my fault for a couple of reasons: First of all, I made the decision to compete in my injured condition. Not that there's anything wrong in doing this, but I should've allowed more time than normal to warm up before my matches by showing up earlier. Secondly, I should've been a "good boy" and shown up when the event was scheduled to start in order to be ready for my matches.

Overall, I think that this year's Arnold's run by Kipp and NAGA were the best version of this event so far, and I'll most likely be making the drive down again next year.

Below is a portion of my match versus my team mate, Ben, from Genesis BJJ. There was a camera malfunction and the first few minutes of the match are missing. The clip picks up after a restart from us rolling out of bounds. Ben catches me with a nice deep half guard sweep and was close to a submission when time ran out. He beat me by 2 or 3 points (I think, maybe more?).


Chris said...

Good match! I actually watched that one but I didn't realize who you were.

I agree it was an extremely well run tournament.

Jason Clarke said...

thanks, chris. who's team are you on?

i'll be working on my deep half guard game over the next few weeks.

Chris said...

I'm at the Flint, MI Saulo Affilate that Jim Burchfield runs.