Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pre-Trourney Preparation

Many of my team mates are in tournament mode here as it is tournament season with the second "Grand Prix" qualifier happening this Saturday. I am not competing as my head is just not in it with my new born and toddler taking up the vast majority of my time; but I am still progressing in general, which is fine by me. I did get to act as chum for one of the big sharks of our club, Sam Osman, last night and thought I would share some thoughts.

Our class, traditionally before a tournament has a pre-tournament show where Professor plays ref and we have formal scored matches in front of the class. They are fun to watch and you get a little bit of that competition feeling because you are put on stage. It is great preparation for the tournament to get a feel for what a real match feels like.

Firstly, almost all matches I watched were tense and explosive. Tense and explosive. I suspect that for many of the first time competitors, their main opponent will be themselves and burning out too quickly. That is something that will be remedied over time.

In my match with Sam I felt that I lacked any explosiveness and made some very critical mistakes like escaping and putting myself into Sam's Guard, not staying on my feet longer, and playing defense too much rather than attempting proper attacks. However, the mistakes are a drop in the had as Sam has superior skill, size, and experience. And I am fully comfortable with getting a whipping from him, as long as I try my best; he is a worthy mentor.

One thing learned though; do not pause once hit the ground on a take down. Whether you were taken down or took down your opponent, be active as soon as possible and fight for the dominant position. A fraction of a second pause can put you in a bad position. And being on offense is far better than being on defense.


P.S. Good luck to Team Schilling on Saturday!