2014 Philippine Gi & No Gi International Open
Imagine a sunny day at the beach, where you just feel the soft wind and the warmth of the sun on your skin and hearing the waves gently crashing by the shore. The white puffy clouds slowly float in the blue sky. Nothing distracts you from something this beautiful. Your thoughts are empty. You are BEING in the moment.
That is how I felt when I was in the 2014 Philippine Gi & No Gi International Open. The 1st tournament for the year. Despite all the commotion and noise and whatever distractions going on at competitions, I found the serenity of just being at that moment at that particular time. I would just close my eyes from time to time like I was afloat and just wanted to fully absorb the experience, that I always look forward to. I truly appreciate just BEING in competitions. I have reached a point where there is no pressure but just enjoying the moment for what it is. It was so peaceful not feeling a tinge of nervousness. I just felt comfortable like it was church or some peaceful place.
I had an awesome time last Saturday. I had a few chats with some of my former opponents from different teams. Sincere short real talk was what it was. It was truly nice catching up with them.
Also for the 1st time, I joined the Master’s Division. There were some that couldn’t believe that I was playing that division. I took that as a flattering compliment.
On my 1st match, I went against Aki of BJJ Revolution in Hong Kong, which I considered a beautiful opportunity. It’s not everyday that we roll with someone from another country. On this match, I won via referee decision. It wasn’t an impressive performance from me but I’ll take the win for me and for our team. After the match, we exchanged info and talked a bit about training. Where in the world can you find time to talk to someone after competing or “fighting” against each other? I know of no other place, circumstance or situation aside from jiu-jitsu. There is a high level of respect among competitors regardless of demographics and/or result of your match. Jiu-Jitsu = Respect. Beautiful isn’t it?
For my 2nd match and championship round, I went against a teammate, who happens to be one of the founding members of our team. He stopped training for quite sometime and just got back. On our match, he caught me in a triangle choke. I was happy for him to get gold plus the fact that we closed the Masters division in our weight class. Getting silver wasn’t that bad at all.
Earning a medal also meant a ticket to join the adult Absolute division, which I already had in mind even before the competition day. And here I was matched up against a foreigner, who by far looked significantly taller and heavier than me. To think that I am taller than the average Filipino, this guy looked much bigger than me. This was a classic David & Goliath match up. I got smashed and got submitted via some sort of a “strong man” arm bar. I didn’t feel disappointed at all because I know I went all out and did whatever (little) I can during the match. More importantly I was proud of myself because I overcame the mentality of fearing a much bigger opponent. There is no local Filipino BJJ competitor as tall and heavy as him so I felt thankful to have that rare opportunity to have went against him. I may not have won that Absolute division matchup but came home feeling like a winner overcoming confidently “giant” obstacles in competition and life.
Strong Mind > Nightmares
Had a disturbing nightmare last night that I wouldn’t want to share. Emotions of frustration and strong anger can only describe it. I could’ve waken up with negativity and bad vibes. But then I realized that I’m awake and that nightmare was just messing with my mind. I will not fall victim to negativity. I am thankful for another day among many other things. I live in reality and I can make it whatever I want it to be.
As much as dreams are left in the sleep, so I am leaving that nightmare and all that negativity behind me. My mind is stronger than any fictional negativity.
My mind stays strong.