Note: Photos taken by Leverage team-mates Abang, Jason, Soley and some from Arlene Lim Rivas from Evolve SG.
I’m so glad to be a part of history in what is the largest BJJ comp in Malaysia and currently the most prestigious (and probably the closest thing we can get to IBJJF for now). Our team did an awesome job organizing the damn thing and most of all competing! There were a total of 158 competitors from around the region with at least 14 girls competing. Amazing! I’ve never ever seen that many girls compete before!
As for me I took home 2 silvers that day. One for my weight class and the other for the absolute. Here’s my version of the Pro Trials. :)
So on Friday (the day of weigh ins), I came in at 5pm to help with registration. The combo of 2 money minded Asian girls (me and AV) and a tough Icelandic guy (Thor) seemed to be a good one considering that registration went really smoothly. We got through the bulk of it in less then an hour and I don’t think there were any major problems.
I told Monstrinha (the key organizer) if only Saturday would go this smooth!!!!! She snickered and said hopefully so!
So on Saturday I drove to Publika just in time for the briefing. First let me say it is really frickin WEIRD to be driving to a jiu jitsu tournament. I’ve always had to compete outside the country because there was never one locally to compete in. So it was a strange feeling driving myself to a tournament when I’ll usually be travelling with my team-mates to the comp venue.
After the briefing I had no time to even worry about my brackets because I was too busy volunteering and just helping out (score keeper, runner, MC, Cornering, etc..). The good thing about that is that it really keeps the nerves away, the bad thing about it is that you’re not focused on competing at all!!!!
Anyway the white belts went first so Aaron gave a pet talk and a hand raise (is that what you call those things?) so everyone would feel the team spirit.
A lot of the white belts did very well considering it was a first for many of them! A lot of them won their first matches and even some medalled. So proud of them :)
Then it was time for the women to compete in the weight class (above 63, below 63). This is easily the most stacked division I’ve ever competed in. Don’t laugh but 11 people is a lot to me. =X Considering the fact that most Asian tournaments only have 3-4 girls competing to have 11 was like wtfomgbbq?
I did fairly well, winning my first match by points, my second by an armbar and losing my final match to a bow and arrow. Made some mistakes here and there which I will be rectifying immediately!
And yeah my ‘game’ face is pretty psychotic. My team-mates call it the ‘crazy eye’ look. I swear to God I’ve probably established myself as this region’s psycho. T_T
Then it was afternoon siesta time cause the team needed to re-bracket everyone for the absolutes. Basically anyone who made it to the Quarters are allowed to compete in the absolutes. Only the absolute winners would get the ticket to Abu Dhabi.
I was hoping for the absolutes I would get a different set of people to fight with and when the brackets were posted I was granted my wish! For the absolutes I was totally focused committed 100%. I admit during my final weight class match I was not mentally focused 100% and made sure I didn’t repeat that mistake again.
I told Monstrinha “Hope to see you at the finals” since we were placed on opposite ends of the bracket since we’re team-mates. We always tell that to each other in other tournaments but somehow I always end up f**king up somewhere along the line so it has never become a reality. This time I really hoped that it would.
Monstrinha fought tremendously well! Winning against the opponent who bow and arrowed me and even winning against the girl who beat her in the weight class! Plus she organized the whole tournament so honestly she wasn’t even in training gear but her mental game is so amazing. I really find her so inspirational. Crazy!
As for me, I won my first match by a choke and my semi-final match with a dramatic armbar. According to my team-mates I had degenerated into ‘she-hulk’ and literally screamed ‘tappppppp!!!!!’ when finishing my armbar. Yeah I pretty much established myself as the region’s psycho (I swear to God I am NOT like that during training no really I’m not T___T).
When I won my semi-finals match I broke down and started crying because Monstrinha had won her semis match earlier and I knew that if I win this match I would see her in the finals. So when the ref raised my hand, I quickly ran out, hugged Monstrinha and started crying for at least 5 minutes.
I’m really not the emotional sort (you can ask F!!!) but I was so overwhelmed with joy I couldn’t stop crying. You see prior to this I haven’t had the best track record when it came to competing. For the past 5 tournaments in a row I’ve lost all my first matches and my coach had always told me it was because my mental focus wasn’t there. So this time I was determined to change my game and I sharpened my mental focus a lot and if I lose a match make it because my opponent is significantly more skilled then I am and not because I gave up halfway or I lost focus.
Anyway after the 5 minutes of crying Monstrinha and I had to figure out what we’re going to do. Since we’re team-mates we refuse to fight each other so we left the decision up to coach and he decided that Monstrinha would represent Malaysia in Abu Dhabi. So we went to the mats, did our thing and Monstrinha was announced as the winner.
Do I regret my decision to ask for a close out? Not at all, I really want to go to Abu Dhabi no doubt (I mean who would turn down an all expense trip to what literally is one of the greatest BJJ tourneys in the world!!!!) but I value my training partner even more. Even if you ask me to really ‘fight’ with Monstrinha, I couldn’t do it because she means that much to me.
I’m really happy for her and we (the entire gym) can’t wait to train her for Abu Dhabi. She’s also the ONLY Malaysian to win the absolutes so I’m super happy that at least we have one Malaysian representing the Malaysia trials.
Train Hard, Train More and Train Always!!!!! :)