So here's a little back-story to my attending the Taiwan tournament. Last year this time I was in the US for some reason and was unable to attend and was forced to live vicariously through the accomplishments of my teammates who had gone. They spoke of having such a great time that I promised myself that I would go the following year. I hadn't been to Taiwan in over 14 years so I was curious to know how things had changed since the mid-90's. Always a tough group at the tournaments, I knew the guys in Taiwan are serious about their jiu-jitsu. Another hilight for me would be the Baret Yoshida seminar and other guest black-belts who would compete in the NO-GI ELITE DIVISION. GI (AUG 22, 2008)
So this time around I committed myself to competing in the heavyweight division with those giants and didn't bother to cut any weight, hehe. I also learned my lesson and made sure I focused on what I was there to do which was to compete first, then cover the event second. So thankfully no injuries this time besides the normal tournament aches. The morning started well as I had gotten in the night before and checked in to my quiet 'love hotel' just a quick taxi ride away from the community sports center. Which by the way is something I wish Bangkok would have since this place ( the sports center) was really nice. Several story building committed to housing events and sports facilities like judo, kendo and ping pong! One of the guest teams was the Da-tong Judo Team which did a great job of putting themselves in there, mixing it up. Some did better than others but it was an inspiring thing to see the coaches show their interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and expose their students to the benefits of cross training. I'm sure us BJJ guys learned a thing or two as well. The lighter guys made the bulk of the competitors at this comp, showing fast-paced and technical matches. The two guys that really stuck out in my mind when I think about the lighter divisions are Kai and Isaac. Being that they're teammates, I'm sure they know each others games quite well so it was nice to see what they would push for on the mat.
As for me, I lost the first round in my weight division by 1 advantage with the score 0-0 but was able to come back with two more wins in the absolute to take me to the finals where I would meet the same giant. Unfortunately for me I lost this one by points. I knew coming into this that it wouldn't be easy and I definitely walk away with a lot to work on but that's also what makes me excited to get back to training this week. Hopefully my pics do a better job of describing what it was like and the intensity of the fights. I want to thank all the guys I fought this weekend and to everyone that came compete and support the scene.I think there is also a shout out in order as Vova from Taiwan BJJ Academy was promoted this weekend to blue-belt after a great showing this tournament. Guys, look out for this one, haha. We hope to see him in Bangkok this September.