You know, a lot of people would compare jiu-jitsu to the game of chess, but lately I've been thinking of it in terms of poker.
You know, a lot of people would compare jiu-jitsu to the game of chess, but lately I've been thinking of it in terms of poker. This is mainly because in the last several months I've been completely obsessed with the game, playing with friends, playing online, and watching the sudden explosion of poker on cable television as of late. But if you're familiar with the Texas No Limit Hold Em game AND you have any idea how my particular style of rolling is the analogy makes sense in some ways. You have to keep your opponent guessing, never letting them know what you really have up your sleeve, and while carefully positioning and setting them up you have to be ready to go "All in" at any time. Hmmâ€¦or maybe I am just really reaching right now as I've got a bad case of "writer's block".
Perhaps if I got some reader mail I can fill up a column more easily. Gumby@onthemat.com  is how to reach me, and unless I do something stupid like delete my e-mail box (again, like I did last week) I do read and respond to all of the e-mail I get. Here's a topic for discussion what are your goals (Grappling or otherwise) in the upcoming year?
The World Grappling Games turned out a little smaller thanks to a killer flu bug (I haven't been able to completely shake the symptoms in weeks) but it was not short on action. The match people will be talking about for a long time was the finals of the purple belt open between Ralek Gracie (the younger brother of Ryron and Rener and son of Rorion) and Mike Fowler from Lloyd Irvin's school. These guys went at it and recapping all the action would take an entire column devoted to it. Fowler pulled off the victory that day, although with a little more time Ralek may have had opportunity to pull of a submission. It's scary to think of how quickly these guys got good, Ralek making huge leaps in the last ten months, and Fowler having trained around two years total. Wunder-kind Fowler competed in six tournament over seven weekends all across the country!
Makes me think there must be something to Lloyd's The Grappling Blueprint. But he's getting the plug here not so much for the Blueprint, or because he's a nice guy, but because he pulled off something Saturday Night I didn't think I'd ever see. Ha-ha! I guess you had to be there, but trust me it was pretty darn impressive.
The next event I'll personally be at is the Budweiser Cup on January 10 in Charlotte North Carolina. You may remember this as the Dale Earnhardt Jr. from last year a tournament with tons of potential but somewhat a victim of it's own success. Since last year however the promoters have been working diligently to correct past problems, and are planning more than a few bonuses and surprises that should make this an excellent tournament. The professional division should attract some of the top talent in the area and beyond and let's not forget that the tournament is being sponsored by freakin' Budweiser. Hopefully this paves the way for other corporate sponsors to discover and funnel more money into our sport, which if you're reading this column you know it's the most exciting sport on the planet.
This could be longer, if my brain wasn't cramping for writers block. Ah well, now that my equipment is back in order (another long story) I've got quite a bit of video to work on.
Have a happy holidays.