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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day Three - Rio De Janeiro Trip - Intl. Masters & Seniors Day

On Praia De Leblon

In The Bullpen B4 The Match

Working 4 The Choke 1st Match

Finishing Triangle In Semi-Final Match

Happy Pesadelo After Gold Medal Match

On The Podium

Weight: About 94KG...

Well, today started off with us going down to the beach earlier...I made a promise to myself that I would be more prepared as my ribs hurt more today, so a good breakfast and good hydration were a must...Plus, I wanted to be relaxed...I felt a bit more pressure as getting a silver yesterday had folks feeling that I was a shoo-in as the gold winner today...
We went off to the beach and got with the surf professor... The surf was too big for Jon, and I was about to succumb to peer pressure and try it so we decided to walk/jog the beach...Again, I am taken by the beauty of the area and the laid back nature of the people..everyone just out playing on the beach, beach volleyball(but with your feet...sort of a cross with soccer), surfing (those dudes were crazy...waves were breaking like 18 feet constant), and even had one dude free swimming like 400 yards from the beach..if u could see the current and think of those waves...That dude had to be a relative of flipper b/c he swam even against the current! Anyways...I end up walking through the water while taking pictures, not noticing that the damned waves are crashing behind me and thinking it will just break across my feet, I get damn near waist deep into water! For a sec it's ok, until I realize my camera and earpiece, passport and other stuff are in my pockets..I run up out of there like I saw a shark, causing some folks to laugh at me like the fool I am!....So I take my ass up to the room to change, while Jon catches his last surfing lesson...I notice from the window that Jon gets up on four waves today...He is getting a lot better..I can't wait to try...

Morning On The Beach

We get Carlos the driver once more but this time he knows where he is going...We stop on the way to get some water/gatorade and food...I got a Bob's (sort of the Brazilian McDonald's) double cheese burger and actually ordered in Portuguese...Felt good about that...The burger was good as hell too...There was an accident int he tunnel under the mountain to Tijuca so it took us a bit, but we still made it with time to spare...The weather was great around Lagoa and we managed to get some good pictures...When we got there we went and found the Alliance team to sit with, and got comfortable...Talked with Gabriel Vella, Fabio Clemente, and Sergio Moraes (We practice his english and my portuguese)..They are always really nice to me..Me and Batista crack jokes on everyone as we are the tallest amongst the team and Fabio congratulates me for last night once again... I went and got changed after checking the brackets (it seems as if I will have to fight more fights than everyone else as I have been moved from the place I was before...Smells like home cooking...No matter..I am feeling really well except that my sternum area really has been affecting my breath and takes it away whenever i cough or move violently...So warming up was a bit of a chore...I put on my Lidocaine Patches and taped em down...And got ready...They call my divisions and it's good because it's my friend Gisaa who is my ring coordinator...On the way to the bullpen, I pass none other than Xande Ribeiro, who says "Heeeyyy, I remember you man!" which frickin' blew me away...It's like you, the Absolute Champion of the World remember me...Im thinking he is bullshittin and just bein nice when he calls me Pesadelo...So he had seen me the day before and said congratulations and was wondering why I had a GI on today...I told him how old I was and he said it was amazing and good luck..I told him congratulations from the Mundials win and he invited me to come by the gym whenever in San Diego...I'm feelin pretty good now, and on the way further I stop and speak to Megaton who always is really nice and remembers me when I see him, and I get tapped on the shoulder by Royler Gracie who says "oh you only speak to Megaton?" LOL Man, this is getting ridiculous..I know We don't know each other or train but they make folks feel so at home, to be so good and be so humble and down to earth is really refreshing...Well off to the bullpen where I meet up with a guy I beat in Europe at the championships...His name is Felipe' and he had just won his first match...He is still a purple but very tough...By now, it's time for me to go as they called my name over the loudspeaker...good thing b/c my portuguese being so bad and the sound system being several times worse than that, only the funny way they say my name (Stee phe en) is how I get to know when I am up...Well, here's my first match with Sandy Yu Chen from Gracie Humaita -220lbs....

Before The Tournament

Here we go for the first leg of my Weight Division...It's against a guy I am warned is a very good judo guy, and who has a very heavy top side game...He weighs in at 220.0, While I am about 208.2 with my GI...He stands about a foot shorter than me though if not more, so I am worried about keeping low, as when I do get low it bothers my ribs...We start and he doesn't really want to engage, which is kind of unusual for a judo guy, but I see what he wants is a sideways attack, well I time it well and instead of him moving in for a hip check, I turn and use his momentum and we go to the ground as he realizes his mistake...Immediately I go to his side and work to the back as he turtles up...I work to get in the hooks...Do so and then start working the choke...Not noticing that he is attempting to cross my ankles to use to try for the submission...His legs are strong as hell but my length gives me enough leverage to fight off the attacks...We roll a couple times so I can get him in a way to get flat, but when I do and try to arch to flatten him out, the cartilage tear hurts like hell (see if u can see where in the pictures! lol) ...So I roll again, move out to the side then back into back mount where he tries again a couple times to use even one leg to try to submit me with a leg attack,..again it does hurt but I fight it off and keep working for the choke...But dude ain't got no damned neck! (I need a LOT more work on my back attacks to bring them up to level!)...I even try taking my own lapel out to sucker him but he keeps his chin tucked and I can't dig in to get a choke...I had one lapel at once time but had a brain fart and did not go for the back clock choke...Dunno why as that is exactly what Batista was yelling to me...But I rode out the time and got the win 8-0...I need to work my back attacks more...The ribs and sternum are "ok" but that arching attempt wasn't good for em...
First Match In Pictures

First Match Video

On to the next match...This one is against a De La Riva school guy ...Carlos Alberto Mendes...Dude is about 6'2" or so and weighed in at 99.2 KG...The dude is cut though and looks a lot bigger than that...coming from the De La Riva school I am not going to play into his guard so I make a concerted effort to give him the impression that I am going to shoot by my grips and stance and immediately work into my guard...When I pull him down, we stop for a minute as it seems he has hurt himself...Think he caught on in the jewels on the way down...Ref asks if he needs time and he says no...(Glad I got my luggage so my titanium ball protector is being worn..lucky i made it through yesterday without having gotten the peepee smashed! phew!)...Anyways we resume and I work for the Roger armbar setup I have been working and in working to break him down as he almost easily was about to open my guard, he posts RIGHT on my sternum...Dunno if he knew but I stopped breathing a bit right then...It was like my body shut down...I made my mind up, that I didn't give a damn what happened, but I was going to shoot the triangle and get it done...Well I did my push/pull, and shot it and as he stood , too slowly in his reaction to counter (feels like he is so strong he didn't think he could be finished there) and I tighten the triangle, and then work to grab his arm to armbar at the same time I am rolling him up on his side...This is hurting me as well but I am not letting go...I get the three taps...I am happy but don't think I showed it much as I honestly am hurting badly now...I get off the mat though to a chorus of some dudes sitting around Luiz Big Mac saying "Pesadelo Triangulo Sinistro!!!" THAT shit felt great to my psyche...Too bad it didn't work on my sternum and ribs! lol
Semi-Final Match In Pictures

Semi-Final Match Video

Here we go with the final match...It is against Sergio Resende Luz from Ataque Duplo...He weighed in right at the limit and actually had to change to a lighter GI to make weight so I know he is tough...Also watched his semi-final match and his guard passing game looked to be crushing as he beat a guy that was about my height but his weight by easily opening and passing his guard...I did NOT want him to my side mount and played with the idea of trying to get the takedown for top control, that is, until someone came by to pat me on the back to say Boa Sorte' (good luck)...That took my breath and shot pain to the front of my chest...Ah well, gonna dance with the horse that brung me...We work and I noticed the guy had a good duck under to double leg, and was not going to allow myself to be down 2pts because of how good his control game was...So I worked on breaking his balance in little jerks and went immediately to pull guard...I thought I'd messed up as he was almost to half guard b/c I sat at the wrong angle...I fought my ass off to regain guard and ended up being able to do so through angles and vigorous movement...I saw the look on his and his coach's faces that that was NOT what they wanted...Well here I work to control and break posture but dude is strong as a horse...And He posts several times directly in my rib cage..I hear grating but I am not sure..Once again, I work a push/pull and it sets up perfectly for me to shoot the triangle...Once again it seems he is not thinking he would be able to be caught, and moves slowly and methodically...As strong as he is that isn't enough but he does manage to keep the inside arm locked for some time...When we get back down so I can work it better...I grab the shin and start my adjustments...He doesn't allow for the pull over and instead when I get it halfway across he rakes his elbow across my sternum because of the angle I have him broken down at and I feel the crack grate against each other...:( I'm desperate now but I can not let go of a submission attempt...He grated against is so hard that the Lidocaine patch with tape came off as well...Well I worked the bounce technique with the legs that Marcus showed me and got the elbow across...I get it across and squeeze with all I got which is damn near submitting me as well...He taps but I don't notice and the referee has to stop me...I get the three taps and I jump up, hurting and all and let out a scream so loud I scared me!!! Guess the pain and happiness etc all were too much...Was really happy! I know i have a LOT, and I do mean a LOT to work on and improve on...Watching these videos I can see sloppiness that has to go away and more efficiency that needs to be worked on...But all things considered, and how I am feeling now, physically, I did ok.
Final Match In Pictures

Final Match Video

Well after I get my medals etc, and I meet the guys who were chanting my name..they were funny as hell! And I notice my breathing is short so I go off to the doctor by the medical station and let them check me out...He touches the fracture in back and it is painful but not unbearable...The cartilage pull isn't too bad...But when he pushes on the one in front by the Sternum I can feel it grate on itself...And I damn near want to black out...He asks me how I feel and I tell him just tape and spray it and I can go...I stil have the Absolute coming and I think I can mke it through another few matches, which if I can, would be some good points for the team....So he calls Fabio over and tells him I shouldn't be allowed to compete as it could break and puncture a lung or sumn...I tell him I did that already but Fabio says he is proud of me and I have done much...I am not too happy about that, but as he is the General here of the team, and he says I did well, I am ok...So I change, take some pictures with Kyra, Fabio Clemente, the team mates, and look around a bit and we break...
Podium Pictures And After

Afterwards we come back to the room, I shower while Jon goes to sauna to drop some weight, and we are back off to Nik's...Tonight is great as there are even more people, and our favorite host Nina is there...We get our food and this nice older lady (Claudia) notices us speaking English, and asks where we are from...We speak for a bit and go back to eating...Because I won today I got a free desert and Nina came to ask a lil bit about the tournament as her brother owns Krugan's Kimono's ...As I am getting back fromt he bathroom in anticipation of us leaving, the lady Claudia asks me over to the table and introduces me to these women she is having dinner with , a Doctor(forgot her name), Lawyer(Nicole), and Computer Merchandising and Publishing(Danyiell) and invites me to sit and talk...They want to practice their English and I get to practice Portuguese with some pretty Brazilian women...It's nice as one of them, the doctor actually has a good command of English and even cracks jokes on me and Jon...Claudia is very well traveled and helps with translation a lot and they tell us all the places we should go and what to do...Claudia and Danyiell and the other young lady all say they will come tomorrow to watch the Jiu-Jitsu championships and tell me they are sorry they missed me competing...The Doctor can't come as she will be working a 12 hour shift...They just but It was nice to be invited in by some locals...I got a couple compliments on my Portuguese and my tattoos and height...(Everyone here comments on called Will Smith more than once and even had this little girl about 8y/o call me Michael Jackson! dunno if i like that one though...) and we got a line on the best things to do once Jon is finished competing tomorrow...The locals all seem to be like that here..Very inviting, very helpful and eager to be helpful...It's late as hell so I am off to bed...But...I fight on...

Thought for today:
“He conquers twice who conquers himself in victory.”

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