Reflections on the weekend

Over the last weekend two of my Jiu Jitsu clients took part in a Malaysia’s largest and most attended BJJ competition held in Paradigm Mall. I suppose you can consider this to be the Nationals with all major BJJ academies taking part.

Short story, one came back with the Gold medal and the other lost by points in the first round.

Most, if not all the regional BJJ clubs took part, with participants from Thailand, Singapore and domestically and I daresay that all the academies train exclusively for competition with CMD being the exception. As such it is a testament of how the application of this information derived from Professor Rodney King is effective both off and on the mats!

At the competition, some academies had over 20 competitors participating while others had less than a handful (like ours). There were some displays of excellent technique and also not so impressive. I witnessed quite a number of injuries mostly to knees, ankles and elbows most of which could be avoided if better technique on both sides were used; however, more often than not, the majority of the matches involved a lot of bad judo and bad wrestling. Some competitors had no business in the competition, they were only there in person with lots of energy, aggression and scant on technique while most others followed the typical modern BJJ competitor formula.

I felt that the experience the two members from my gym took back was valuable on several fronts, more so than the actual roll.

There’s always the big picture and the small picture; what I looked for were composure, respectful behaviour, sportsmanship and display of technique to the best of their abilities. Did they respect their competitor as much as themselves? Did they argue about lost points or maintain their focus on the goal? On these they both delivered with flying colours. The basic agreements on sportsmanship, playing hard but fair were maintained by most participants from what I saw. Only a few from other academies threw tantrums when they lost their match or challenged the referee’s decision for disqualification.

They handled the stresses well and kept their composure, followed the game plan and trusted their techniques. That’s really all I could ask for.

From the gym, one had more time and focus to be better prepared leading up to the competition while the other recognized his shortcomings on this aspect and conceded that it impacted his strength and endurance on the mat. In my eyes though, neither of them “lost”. Neither were submitted instead often demonstrated good positional control, awareness of potential threats or capitalized on appropriate movement.

Could they have done better? Yes, of course! The available techniques remain as broad, as wide, as deep and as personalised as you can imagine. There is always room for improvement but that is what the belt rank system is for, to denote levels of skill and ability to execute them against someone of similar size and weight. This isn’t taking anything away from their competition result or performance but what was achieved was on point and the purpose of such competitions (IMHO) is to test technique as much as the individual’s mindset and resolve, of which the guys put on a fantastic demonstration. Kudos to them again!

Again, CMD will continue on this course and provide this level of competition instruction to clients who want to compete (and are prepared for it) while making the self defense aspect it’s main focus of training. As I have said several times that we are not a competition focused gym as that only represents a portion of what martial arts is about. We are honoring the original intentions of real fighters who have developed these highly effective skills under the most testing of conditions to do good.


In servitude and openness,
Vince Choo