Some photos were taken by Arlene Lim and Kinya Hashimoto.
I woke up really early on Saturday (5:45am that’s a new record!). Took the time to enjoy my last morning in Abu Dhabi (cause we fly out 2:35 am Sunday morning) watching the sunrise. Again I kinda wished I would get up this early in Malaysia. :P
Had breakfast with Monstrinha and left early for the venue to help corner Arlene Lim from Evolve Singapore since she made it to the white belt absolute finals! :)
Wore my SEABJJ T-shirt proudly to represent SEA, Malaysia and Checkmat Malaysia!
However we were told that the matches were delayed to only start at 12pm (originally it was scheduled for 10am!). And then we were told the order would be all the weight categories first and then only the absolutes! Poor Arlene was waiting there for a good 10 hours before her match!
The final matches are really cool because you get this awesome entrance as you walk into the hall (like in the video). Epic! Apparently in the live streaming (as I’ve been told by our friends) right before Shane’s match the camera was focused on me with my iphone and the commentator mentions “In the corner is Shane Suzuki’s girlfriend getting ready to video tape his match. So sweet”. LOL Shane and I had a real good laugh with that comment! That’s such a racist comment though! Just cause I’m Asian you kinda assumed I’m Shane’s GF?! What if Roman (his opponent who’s Caucasian) has an Asian GF?! Sheesh.
Anyway Shane did really well winning his match by armbar! Skip to 1 minute of the video if you don’t want to see the entrance.
Jordan was in the finals too and he went against this Korean Judo BB. Him being a Rugby player and all made his takedowns quite deadly so it was kinda cool to see Judo VS takedowns. Sadly he lost the match by points! Cheeky Jordan trying to punk the Korean dude in the photo taking :P
Tommy getting his Purple belt on stage from Braga Neto when he won Bronze for his Blue Belt weight class!
Arlene lost her finals match against a Jordanian who played a really smart tactical game. Cornering Arlene together with Allen was a fun experience cause she listens to instructions very well, it was like playing a video game! Whatever we said, she did exactly that! And we had just gone through the concept of half guard underhooks right before the match! I’m glad that it was useful in the end.
Arlene with her medals and Allen her corner for the weekend
Bumped into the Checkmat Girls again:
There were soooooooooooooo many good matches on that day I think I was literally Jiu Jitsued out! The stand out matches for me were:
Nicolini vs Kyra toehold. Holy crap! Like they say don’t ever wear an ankle guard on ONE side of your foot!
The Satoshi and Lepri match was really exciting too with some amazing guardwork from both guys (though I think Lepri should have gotten the points for the sweep?)
And a beautiful armbar finisher from Rodolfo (hehehehehe ^_^):
Here’s a match that stood out also but for all the wrong reasons. I was there and heard Gabi shout after she won “I am black belt! Respect black belt!” and everyone was so quiet because it was just such a poor display of sportsmanship. Funny thing is, Monstrinha and I were sitting near Bia Mesquita and we heard her shout back “I am black belt too!!!!!”. Totally cheered for her during their absolute match :D
We stuck around to watch the final match between Rodolfo and Galvao. Man that was just some sick display of passing! Rodolfo for now is quite unstoppable.
Bumped into Bia and Penny Thomas while waiting for the shuttle bus back to the hotel!
Since I had a 2:40am flight to catch and the tournament ended at 10:45pm… I left the convention hall right after, packed my bags, grabbed a quick bite then headed to the airport.
I was a bit bummed out that Team Malaysia was the first to pack their bags and leave cause a lot of the other Teams were leaving on Sunday and Monday! Would have loved to travel to Dubai, visit Ferrari World or something. If you asked me how Abu Dhabi was I couldn’t tell you anything about it apart from Coniche Beach LOL. Maybe next time ;)
Here’s us goofing off at the airport!
This was an overall amazing experience which I’ll blog in a separate entry about what I learned from my trip to Abu Dhabi and what’s next! But before that I’d like to thank my coach Professor Marcos Escobar for everything, Aaron Goh the gym owner for giving me the organizer ticket and most importantly F for introducing and bringing me into this wonderful world called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. :)
Train hard, Train more and Train always!