This past Saturday I competed again for the first time since my disappointing experience at the Mundial and I ended up taking gold after a tough fight with a really tough opponent from Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu.
After the worlds I decided to give myself a small two week break from hard jiu-jitsu training as a mental refresher before beginning my preparation for the rest of the tournaments that will take place in the back half of the year, so when my master Claudio Franca said he had a superfight for me at our small in-house tournament last weekend I was hesitant to accept. On top of being in the middle of my hiatus I had plans to go out for my friend's birthday the night before the match was to take place. When I'm in training I don't drink, but since its the summer and after the worlds I had decided to have some beers with my buddies and though I hadn't ruled out completely the possibility of competing as I emptied each bottle I began to lean further toward the decision to not fight.
However, I woke up the morning of the tournament and ate a healthy breakfast supplemented with a good amount of water and wasn't feeling so bad. I went to the gym and got in the sauna and the hot tob and the pool and by the time I got to the tournament to coach the kids I was already feeling okay. Though I hadn't been training much jiu-jitsu for the past week, I had been staying active training MMA, Muy Thai and lifting weights so I knew I was still in shape. I still hadn't decided wether or not I wanted to fight though. I knew my opponent had come from Southern California and so I didn't want to leave him without a match and I also love to take the opportunity to fight in Santa Cruz in front of my friends and family but I also didn't want to risk another disappointment while in my already fragile mental state. I decided to go home and take a nap and make my final decision when I woke up.
Upon awakening I felt no signs of a hangover and was full of energy and it was then that I made my decision to compete. I knew Claudio was happy that I was fighting but watching the video I could see he was nervous for me because he knew I would be disappointed to lose in front of all my friends and family. Fortunately the match went my way, (see video) though my opponent was very tough and gave me a really good fight. I was happy to perform well in front of the team, my professor, my girlfriend and her grandparents who happened to be in town from Italy, as well as the rest of the crew from Santa Cruz and the experience helped to pull me out of the funk I had been in after blowing it at the worlds. The rest of our team did awesome too, almost all of my good friends and students taking home gold.
Now its time to get back on track for the rest of the tournaments this year still has to offer so Stay Tuned!!