Tainted Love

I lost at the Jiu-Jitsu State Games, but I think it’s understandable considering my competition…

Cornhusker State Games

I’m just kidding! The animal with his arm around me is my teammate Bauer, who I affectionately call Roast Beef. The only way he is ever my competition is in radically awesome toenail polish. The other two winners are also part of Team Jiu-Jitsu Fighter. In the middle is Chris, and on the left is Josh, author of Josh’s Jiu-Jitsu Journal.

Cornhusker State Games

This was my real competitor, and I can’t use the old lady excuse for losing, because Lorissa is only a year younger than I am! We were the only women in our no gi division, so we were supposed to go two out of three, but I tweaked my injured knee at the beginning of our first match. I decided to bow out of competition to be safe, so I forfeited our remaining matches and took the silver. I feel bad that she only got to have one fight, especially since there are no women where she trains, so she rarely gets a chance to roll with one. It was super cool to actually meet a woman my age who grapples! We both also have 18 yr-old kids. I had originally signed up for the Adult Women division (18+), but when I saw that she was signed up for Masters (35+), I switched divisions so she would have someone to compete with. She commented that she wished she would have started doing Jiu-Jitsu when she was 19, and I said no one had really heard of it when we were 19! There was mutual respect, and even kindness, throughout our match. At one point I coughed, and she stopped and asked with concern “Are you okay?”. That darn motherly instinct was getting in the way of her Jiu-Jitsu! Too bad it didn’t stop her from beating me. Smiley face. At least I didn’t get submitted.

She didn’t compete in gi, and there was no one in my division, so I had originally intended to do an exhibition match with my teammate Sara. After I hurt my knee, I told them to just close out the division because I was done for the day. Then several hours went by between my no gi match and the gi competition, and my knee felt better after ice and rest. So my Women’s Jiu-Jitsu teacher, Amy, told me to stop being such a big whiny baby and go fight Sara. I figured the only way to get her to shut up was to give in, so I did.

I’m really glad I let Amy talk me into doing it, because that was the most fun I have ever had while losing in my life! My knee is sore, but it’s no worse for the wear. Sara knew I was injured, so we agreed to dial it back a notch and just have a good time. I really wish that fight had been captured on video, because it was crazy and enormously enjoyable. I could have done without her brutal knee on belly, but hey, at least she only weighs 115 pounds! A couple of the spectators commented afterward that they really enjoyed watching it, especially because we both had huge grins on our faces the entire time. I think I was even smiling when I tapped. Another of the spectators said that they would not want to meet either one of us in a dark alley, smiling or not!

Since I also worked the tournament, it was a long day, but it was worth it. Things didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked, but I think most of the people were very patient and understanding. We had a record number of competitors, far exceeding last years numbers, and it takes a lot of time just to get through that many matches. When I competed in the Judo tournament last weekend we were done by noon because there were only about forty competitors. There were three times that many for Jiu-Jitsu yesterday. So yes, we might have had some long wait times, but as a Jiu-Jitsu fighter that makes me happy, because it means that a lot more people in Nebraska are interested in the art, and it’s growing. No amount of inconvenience, waiting, injuries, or losing will ever taint my love for it.

Bauer didn’t have polka dots. I win.
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