Last month I had the amazing experience of traveling to Europe for the first time in my life to start off the 2016 competition season with one of the three biggest IBJJF tournaments of the year: the IBJJF Europeans. This year’s Europeans was held in Lisbon, Portugal and was the biggest IBJJF tournament EVER to date. I travelled with Lucas Hale, a good friend of mine from here in Santa Cruz, CA who has travelled to many places across the globe and though he doesn’t do jiu-jitsu himself he was super excited to travel around Portugal with me and add another country to his list of places he’s visited. I got in a few days ahead of the tournament to get adjusted and by the time fight day came around I felt like I had pretty much recovered from the jet lag. I even got into the water and surfed one day at Carcavelos, near Lisbon, before the big day.
In the end the tournament didn’t go the way I wanted it to but I still got a lot of good training out of it for the rest of the competition season. I lost two tough fights, both on points in my weight and absolute against much heavier opponents. I decided to fight in the Superheavyweight division for this tournament so even in my weight category it felt like the absolute. I felt like I started slow in both matches and though I stayed in the game all the way to the end I wasn’t able to dig myself out of the hole I’d gotten in towards the beginning. After the tournament Lucas and I went up to Nazare and spent a couple days there watching guys tow in to 20ft + surf.
The week after I got back from Portugal the IBJJF held the San Jose Open only thirty minutes from where I live in Santa Cruz. I had already decided I wasn’t going to compete because I had arrived from Europe in the middle of the night only two nights before and was still feeling jet lagged. However, I woke up in the morning with a desire to fight and I decided to go fight only my first match, win or lose. I ended up winning by 7-0 and got myself back into a winning trend for 2016.
Next up is the BJJ Tour Florida this weekend and then Abu Dhabi Trials in New York next weekend then the big one, The Pan, coming up quickly after! Stay Tuned!! Osssss