Be First

Over the weekend we had an amazing grappling event at the Bayou City Event Center. Submission Hunter Pro 58 went down, it did not disappoint. Eric Garcia (President of Garcia Promotions) himself put on an incredible performance against a tough black belt opponent, Kolton Englund. The match ended with Eric committing beautifully to a baseball bat choke from the standing position! Unlike Mr. Garcia’s match, my match ended in a draw.

Leading up to this match, I competed a lot. Not to count any of my other matches out, but they were all in preparation for my SHP 58 match against the very talented, Michael Nguyen. He and I have competed against each other in the past. Each time he’s managed to edge out the victory via points. My style has always been most suited for submission only rulesets. I prefer to go for the finish rather than concern myself with points.

The match started out with some hand fighting, I landed an arm drag to inside trip takedown. We then exchanged some leg attacks which turned into a lot of scrambling with back and forth controls, both having good positions of attack. In the last ten seconds of the match, he went for a sweep in which I used the transition to lock in a closed guard guillotine. As tight as the guillotine was, I unfortunately ran out of time to secure the finish. Hats off to Michael on coming out of his preferred ruleset and putting on an amazing performance along with being incredibly tough. Thank you, sir.

Like all my matches, I try to learn at least one thing from them no matter the outcome. From this match, I learned the lesson of commitment. Especially in a ruleset that you aren’t worried about being scored on. I feel my mistake was waiting too long to initiate the guillotine, thus costing me the submission victory.

You’ll hear people talk about “being first” on the mat. One thing you will realize when competing or watching competition matches; the person that scores first usually wins the match. I try to always keep this in the forefront of my mind when approaching situations in my life, on and off the mat. If you ever watch me compete, you’ll see, I don’t sit around and wait for something to happen. Be the aggressor, push the pace, initiate the positions, and outwork your opponent at every angle. Might not always work, but it has helped me win and perform to the best of my abilities time and time again.

So, don’t be scared. Commit and go. Worst thing that’s going to happen is you lose a match. Make it up next match.

I have a couple of awesome interviews planned for you guys coming up in honor of breast cancer awareness month, so stay tuned for those! Also, on November 21st ill be competing in the IBJJF No-Gi Pan American Championships. So I’ll be going through a pretty grueling camp in preparation for that. Stay tuned for the gory details!

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